- Preserve the Beartooth Front honored by The Montana Post
- Largest oil and gas reserve in US discovered. It’s not the Christmas gift Ryan Zinke thinks it is.
- Stillwater County landowner lawsuit update: County runs out the clock on Judge Jones; hearing set for January 16
- The National Climate Report: Don’t be duped. Understand it yourself, and take action.
- Action Alert: Please write the Stillwater County Commissioners by Thursday, November 22
Click to see the Preserve the Beartooth Front video
Category Archives: Fracking Information
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
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
In a statement today Transcanada, operators of the Keystone Pipeline, announced:
“Transcanada crews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately…5 a.m. MST after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation. The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels. The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles (56 kilometres) south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota.”
5,000 barrels is equivalent to 210,000 gallons.
This is the third spill on this section of the Keystone.
To read more, click the link. Continue reading
An important new study shows that oil and gas activity can have severe negative long-term impacts on native wildlife.
The study, “Mule deer and energy development—Long-term trends of habituation and abundance,” was published last month in Global Change Biology Journal. The authors tracked 187 mule deer for 17 years from 1998-2015 in the upper Green River Basin of western Wyoming, referred to as the Pinedale Anticline. The area is a prime wintering spot for thousands of mule deer, which annually migrate 20-100 miles from summer areas in four different mountain ranges.
The study showed a decline in habitat available to the deer, a dramatic overall decline in the deer population, a corresponding decline in the harvest of deer by local hunters, and s significant reduction in the size of the remaining deer.
Communities contemplating oil and gas development need to be aware of the unintended consequences of that development, and make sure that their way of life — ecological, social, economic — is maintained for the long term. Continue reading
Warning: This article is based on peer-reviewed scientific research. Science deniers may want to read elsewhere.
A new study by US scientists shows that as many of 16% of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill liquids every year. According to the study, there were at least 6,648 liquid releases from these wells over a ten-year period from 2005-14 in just four states — North Dakota, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.
Around 50% of spills were related to the storage and movement of fluids via pipelines. According to Dr. Patterson, “The causes are quite varied. Equipment failure was the greatest factor, the loading and unloading of trucks with material had a lot more human error than other places.”
Over half of spills in North Dakota occurred at wells that had recorded a previous incident.
In a fragile ecosystem highly dependent on concentrated sources of water like the Beartooth Front, this data is highly alarming. It argues for local regulation that protects water, air, and soil required for agriculture and ranching. Continue reading
A bill currently being considered in the Montana State Senate significantly reduces landowner rights in protecting property from damage from oil drilling on or near occupied buildings. SB93, currently before the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, would reduce notification requirements approved last year by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC). Those regulations require oil and gas operators to notify owners of “occupied structures” within a quarter mile of a well before drilling.
The BOGC rule, passed last December, was the result of a 20-month process involving Montana environmental groups, with input from the Montana Petroleum Association. The process grew out of the Legislature’s rejection in the 2015 session of SB177, which would have established a 1000 foot minimum buffer zone, or setback, between wellheads and a home, water well, or surface water. The bill did not make it out of committee.
Following the failure of the bill, Northern Plains Resource Council and others petitioned the BOGC to establish minimum setbacks to protect landowners. After 20 months of hearings, testimony by landowners, and committee meetings, the BOGC passed its new rule last December. The rule requires notification in advance of drilling to any landowner within a quarter mile of a wellhead.
To find out what you can do to keep this bill from passing, follow the link. Continue reading
“Changed circumstances”: Montana Board of Oil and Gas reconsiders rulemaking on fracking chemical disclosure
Citing “changed circumstances,” the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) has decided to reconsider rulemaking on fracking chemical disclosure at its next meeting on February 1.
While the Board didn’t specify what had changed, one new circumstance is the legal action filed against the BOGC on January 17 by a coalition of Montana property owners, public health advocates, and conservation groups. The suit seeks more transparent disclosure of information to the public on chemicals used in the fracking process. Continue reading
Sometimes items show up in my mailbox that I have a hard time believing. But the oil and gas industry often defie belief, and today’s item gave me pause.
Seems Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued an executive proclamation designating October 13 as Oilfield Prayer Day.
I sure hope the good Lord doesn’t send down one of his earthquakes this Thursday. Continue reading
Last week a coalition of environmental organizations, landowners and public health advocates petitioned the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) to provide broader public disclosure of information about the chemicals used in fracking.
The proposals are common sense reforms that would protect landowners from potential harm. As Katherine O’Brien, the Earthjustice attorney who drafted the petition on behalf of the coalition put it, “Montanans have the right to know what is being pumped into the ground around their homes, farms, and ranches.”
While the Montana press has reacted favorably to the proposed changes, the oil and gas industry opposes the changes, citing their oft-repeated and always incorrect mantra, “Fracking is safe.”
The Board of Oil and Gas needs to take this opportunity to protect Montana’s residents.
To read more, click the link. Continue reading
A shocking story out of Oklahoma tells of the death of oil executive Aubrey McClendon, who was killed in a violent car crash yesterday, just one day after he was indicted in federal court for violations of anti-trust laws.
While no cause of death has been declared, it appears McClendon drove his SUV at a high rate of speed directly into a wall. According to police, “There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the roadway, and that didn’t occur.” McClendon was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
McClendon is a legendary figure in the fracking boom over the last decade, and we’ve written about him several times on this site. He made billions in fracking at the expense of property owners, pushing to drill every possible well with little regard for environmental impact.
The point is to caution landowners that McClendon’s death is an object lesson in how oil companies care about profits, not the rights of landowners. If you want to protect your rights, it is critical to set the terms upon which drilling occurs on your property. Mechanisms exist in the law to do that, but you have to be vigilant and act together as community to make it happen.
Landowners in Carbon and Stillwater counties along the Beartooth Front are currently engaged in battles to do this. The fight is long, but the goal — long-term preservation of a way of life — is worth the effort.
To read more, click the link. Continue reading