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More than 1,200 missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: A pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; and concerns that proposed changes to 'Green Card' rules favor the wealthy.

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Sweetwater Co. Targets Adobe Town Drilling

December 16, 2008

Green River, WY - Sweetwater County Commissioners are looking at stepping into the drilling debate. A resolution to ban drilling on public land in Adobe Town is on the table, after a proposal recently surfaced to place four wells in the middle of the area.

Brad Mohrmann, of the Sierra Club in Wyoming, points out that the state has already declared the area "Very Rare or Uncommon" and proclaimed it "off-limits" to surface mining.

"There is absolutely no reason, and we should have no business, drilling for oil or doing any kind of energy development in Adobe Town and some of our most special places."

The wells are promoted as needed to help meet the nation's energy demand, and developers say they will leave a small footprint and do complete rehabilitation.

The recommendation would not extend to private land, but it would recommend "no drilling" on 180,000 acres of public land at Adobe Town. Mohrmann says many Wyomingites have been surprised to hear the area was on the drilling list to begin with.

"Adobe Town deserves special protections, like a lot of places in this state deserve special protection."

The resolution won't have any power to stop the drilling, it's just a recommendation. The federal Bureau of Land Management gets to make the final decision.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY