Author Archives: davidjkatz

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.

Lessons from other states: Washington carbon fee initiative

Washington has been trying to pass a carbon tax for the last decade without success. But this year, as unhappiness with Trump’s anti-environment agenda grows, it looks like they may succeed.

Initiative 1631 is on the November ballot. It would impose a starting fee of $15 per ton on carbon emissions, starting in 2020, with 70 percent of the money raised invested in clean energy. If it passes, Washington will make history, becoming not only the first state in the union to adopt a carbon tax, but also the first government anywhere to do so by ballot referendum. Continue reading

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November ballot measures in other states

Yesterday we looked at battle between the oil and gas industry and communities in Colorado. Today we’ll look at other fracking-related ballot measures in other states. Continue reading

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Lessons from other states: Colorado

Sometimes it’s worth checking in on other Western states to see what trends may eventually bring political change to Montana. Today we’ll look at Colorado, where conflict over oil and gas development is front and center on the November ballot.

On November 6, a long-simmering conflict between the oil and gas industry and community advocates will reach a head as voters will decide on two opposing oil and gas measures, Proposition 112 and Amendment 74. Both could have major conflicting implications on future oil and gas development in the state.

To read more, click the link.

Continue reading

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Last chance for your voice to be heard on chemical disclosure; email comments due to Board of Oil and Gas today by 5pm

This is an urgent request for your personal action. The Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) is about to pass a rule on the advance disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking. This rule trades the rights of landowners for the rights of oil and gas companies. It’s a bad trade, and only your voice can make a difference at this point.

Comments are due at by email at 5pm today. Everything you need to know to comment is in this post. Please spend five minutes to make your voice heard. Continue reading

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Ryan Zinke, how do you really feel?

They say that a mistake in politics is when a politician says what he really means. Ryan Zinke was the keynote speaker at an oil and gas industry event in Louisiana this week. There’s no recording of his remarks, but the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association tweeted their version of what he said.

Click the link to find out. Continue reading

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Action reminder: Montana Board of Oil and Gas hearing on Monday, September 17

This is a reminder that the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) will be holding a public hearing on its proposed new rules for fracking chemical disclosure. Quite simply, these proposed rules are not strong enough to adequately protect landowners and it is important for you to lend your voice to make sure landowners’ opinions are clearly heard.

You can make your voice heard in either of two ways.

To find out more and to read my comments to the BOGC, click the link. Continue reading

Posted in Fracking Information, Shared Letters and Posts | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Beartooth landowners file motion for summary judgment in zoning lawsuit

Beartooth Front landowners last week filed the critical brief in their lawsuit against the Stillwater County Commissioners. It outlines their argument for why landowners alone, without the approval of minerals owners, should be able to establish a citizen-initiated zoning district. The argument lies at the heart of a central tension in Montana law: the self-determination of landowners to decide what happens on their own property vs. the importance of mineral extraction to the state economy.

Assuming there are no extensions, the County will have 21 days to respond, and then the landowners will have 14 days to reply. That will put the end of briefings in early October. Our attorney has asked for a hearing on the motion, and we are hopeful that Judge Jones will conduct the hearing and issue a ruling on our motion before the end of the year.

To read more, click the link.

Continue reading

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Action Alert: Your voice needed on new Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation chemical disclosure rule

Your help is needed. The Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) will be holding a public hearing on its proposed new rules for fracking chemical disclosure. Quite simply, these proposed rules are not strong enough to adequately protect landowners and it is important for you to lend your voice to make sure landowners’ voices are clearly heard.

There will be a live hearing in Billings on September 17 at 2pm. Please come if you can, or send your email comments to the Board no later than September 24.

To find out more, click the link. Continue reading

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Op ed: The Stillwater County Commissioners aren’t doing their jobs

This op ed appeared in the Stillwater County News on August 23, 2018.

“The Commissioners aren’t doing their jobs. Instead of trying to make new law on behalf of the oil and gas industry, what they should be doing is working with Stillwater landowners to protect the Beartooth Front.” Continue reading

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Beartooth Front landowners win first round of lawsuit

Judge Blair Jones issued his first ruling today in the lawsuit Beartooth Front Coalition et al. vs. Board of Commissioners, Stillwater County. He ruled in favor of the landowners, denying the County’s motion for a summary judgment in their favor.

To find out more and read Judge Jones’ ruling, click the link. Continue reading

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