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.

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

Posted in Shared Letters and Posts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Fracking Information, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Shared Letters and Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

How the Trump Administration is quietly stripping away environmental protections

While Donald Trump’s tweets make the cable news channels salivate on a daily basis, the outrage provides cover for the real work that the Administration is doing to strip away important environmental protections.

Make no mistake about it — Trump and company have done everything they can to roll back environmental protections that have been established over many decades. This has been done primarily through rulemaking and other administrative procedures, which are generally ignored by cable news but can have a huge impact. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Landowners show up for hearing on Beartooth Front lawsuit

There was a familiar look to the gallery at the hearing Thursday in the Stillwater County Courthouse in Columbus. In the case of Beartooth Front Coalition et al vs. Stillwater County Commissioners, there were, by my count, 56 people there in support of the Beartooth Front Coalition, which is suing Stillwater County to establish a citizen-initiated zone to regulate land use related to oil and gas along the Beartooth Front.

They were easy to identify. They all knew each other. They are neighbors in southern Stillwater County, many from families that have been there for generations, who signed a petition to establish the zone. They greeted each other by name, offered encouragement, expressed resolve to be successful in the suit.

To find out what happened at the hearing (with photo), click the link. Continue reading

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Action Alert: Please attend hearing on Stillwater County landowner lawsuit, Thursday, July 26, 1:30pm

The next step in the Beartooth Front Coaltion lawsuit against the Stillwater County Commissioners is a hearing in front of Judge Blair Jones. The hearing will be held at the Stillwater County Courthouse in Columbus on Thursday, July 26 at 1:30 pm.

This step is the first of several hearings in this case. If the landowners are successful in their suit, the ultimate outcome will be for the Commissioners to hold a hearing to consider the petition. It is critical for them to see evidence at every step of the way that landowners stand firm in their demand that their rights be protected.

Please come if you can.

To read more about the suit and the hearing, click the link. Continue reading

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Ryan Zinke is at it again: BLM offers 118 Montana parcels for December oil and gas lease

As part of Ryan Zinke’s transparent effort to dismantle the BLM and open public lands to oil exploration, the agency has offered up 118 Montana parcels to be sold at auction next December. The BLM offers leases for sale three or … Continue reading

Posted in BLM leases | Tagged , , | 1 Comment