Wyoming News Update

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Improper use of safety line may have caused worker's death

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Natrona County authorities say an improperly used safety cable may have contributed to the June death of an oil rig worker.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that 28-year-old Dennis McCulloch, of Casper, died after falling about 76 feet at the oil well site in Midwest.

Sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Shatto says McCulloch had been attached to a safety retention cable, which is used to prevent falls, but the cable hadn't been used correctly.

He says the line attached to McCulloch sustained significant side pressure, causing it to unravel and eventually break.

The victim was an employee of C L Well Service Inc. and doing work at an oil field operated by FDL Energy.

The Texas-based company and the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration are continuing to investigate the incident.

Groups challenge federal oil, gas leasing on climate grounds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two environmental groups say in a lawsuit the federal government needs to consider the potential effects of climate change before allowing oil and gas drilling on public land.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., challenges almost 400 oil and gas leases the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently has issued in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

The groups WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility say almost 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions trace back to publicly owned oil and gas reserves.

BLM spokeswoman Cindy Wertz declined to comment, citing agency policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Several groups have joined in a movement to end fossil-fuel extraction on public lands. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says doing so would wipe out thousands of jobs.

Cody lawyer suspended over theft charges

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court has suspended a Cody lawyer accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his local bar association.

The Cody Enterprise reports that Sam Kroene's suspension from practicing law went into effect Wednesday. It will remain in place pending the resolution of charges against him.

Kroene is facing three felony and four misdemeanor charges in connection with the theft of $9,600.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.