CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Top Wyoming officials heard skepticism and encouragement Monday as they discussed a proposal 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 in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

After four hours of discussion and public comment, board members met in executive session and didn’t reconvene in public by deadline.

Online participants in the live-streamed meeting asked why Wyoming should spend $1 billion or more on the property while facing deficits.

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