Via The Washington Post, the Department of Energy wants to block Montana’s attempts to regulate the impacts of coalbed methane extraction on local water supplies.

The state’s Board of Environmental Review has voted in favor of requiring extraction companies — which use large quantities of water to retrieve natural gas from coal seams — to replenish those groundwater supplies in their original, nonpolluted state. But federal officials and Wyoming’s congressional delegation object that the move could slow down the pace of energy development in Montana and neighboring states.

As Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer told the Post:

We want to develop energy in Montana, but we want to do it right. Here’s the bottom line with the federal government: They’re usually not helpful, and they weren’t this time, either.

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