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Drilling for Natural Gas in Wyoming Raises Debate

Wyoming has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the country -- underneath public land -- leading to a debate over whether to drill or preserve the land for other uses. NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels reports from Wyoming.

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  • SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Gary Amerine makes his living as an outfitter in the rugged mountains of Wyoming. He's raised his children riding horses, and he guides hunters and fishermen into the Wyoming Range, the snowcapped peaks south of Grand Teton National Park that provide the backdrop to his ranch.

    It's a range that Amerine lovingly calls "Wyoming's namesake mountains."

  • GARY AMERINE, Outfitter:

    Where I spent my adult lifetime is the Wyoming Range. I've guided, hunted, fished, snow-machined in that country since the '60s.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    Now Amerine is once again saddling up for the Wyoming Range, but this time he's entering new territory: politics.

  • GARY AMERINE:

    This is your steering wheel, OK?

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    OK. We're good.

    Amerine is angered by the federal government's decision to consider 44,000 acres of public land in the Wyoming Range for natural gas drilling.

    So what's in this range here? I mean, is there any development? Is there fishing? Are there animals? What?

  • GARY AMERINE:

    There's no development. There's elk, deer and moose. There's also bighorn sheep. Antelope will get to the base of the higher mountains.

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