CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Top Wyoming officials heard both skepticism and encouragement Monday before voting to bid on a Connecticut-sized area of private land and mineral rights spanning three states.
The State Loan and Investment Board made up of Gov. Mark Gordon and the other four statewide elected officials faces a Wednesday deadline to bid on Houston-based Occidental Petroleum’s holdings along a wide stretch of the former Transcontinental Railroad route in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
After four hours of discussion and public comment, board members meeting by videoconference convened in executive session for further talks. They then voted to proceed with a bid that won’t be made public but with assurances of more public involvement and transparency should it emerge as a likely buyer, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Residents and others participating online asked why the state should spend $1 billion or more in state savings on the property when the state faces huge budget deficits and pressure to slash spending.