- PLEASE NOTE: Change in Zoom access code for today’s hearing
- Action alert: Watch court hearing on Zoom, Thursday, 2:00 pm
- Action alert: Stillwater County Planning Board meeting, Wed, 9/4, 7pm
- Must attend! Stillwater County Planning Board: Wednesday, August 7, 7pm
- Stillwater County News: “Workable framework” adopted for potential southern county zone
Click to see the Preserve the Beartooth Front video
Category Archives: Fracking Information
The Montana Farmers Union (MFU) has released a whitepaper addressing issues related to the use of fracking in oil and gas operations in Montana. Entitled “Fracking in Montana: Asking Questions, Finding Answers,” the paper outlines concerns of farmers, ranchers and landowners regarding fracking operations on or near their property. The paper also covers a variety of environmental issues, including water and air quality impacts.
Co-author Hertha Lund presented an early draft of the paper in Absarokee last May at an event sponsored by local organizations.
To find out more and download a copy of the whitepaper, click the link.
From time to time we check in on the state of the oil industry to determine whether we are approaching a time when it might become profitable to drill along the Beartooth Front. We’re far from it. As of the close of business on Monday, the price of oil touched a seven-year low as active rig counts dropped to their lowest levels since 2010, and gas prices in the area stayed at low levels.
This means that nobody is going to be drilling along the Beartooth Front very soon. And we should all be aware that when the oil companies come knocking with promises of economic growth and plenty of jobs, that promise is only as good as an oil market that we have no control of.
What we can control are the terms under which oil and gas operators do business when the market changes. Continue reading
Oil and gas companies continuously try new legislative, judicial and business tactics to keep landowners from interfering with their business. When those strategies are successful in one state, they are exported to other states.
So it is of particular interest that in Pennsylvania, a corporate landowner and twelve individual landowners who have leased their shale gas drilling rights to an oil and gas operator have filed suit against environmental organizations that oppose the drilling.
Attorneys for the environmental groups have argued that the suit is a “SLAPP suit” — a strategic lawsuit against public participation — targeting individuals and groups for participating in public debate on government policies and the legal appeals of those policies.
29 states have laws against SLAPP suits. Montana is not one of them. Don’t be surprised if suits like this happen here. Continue reading
As President Obama heads off to Alaska this week, he has focused on climate change. Alaska is suffering greater effects of global warming than any other state in the United States.
His presence there highlights recent conflicts between the Administration and environmentalists over drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Shell was awarded a permit this month to drill two exploratory wells there. The potential benefits are great because the area contains 20% of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves, but the dangers of a spill in such a remote and inaccessible area are frightening.
Obama justified the decision in his weekly address by saying that, despite our progress in moving to renewable energy, we need to continue to drill for fossil fuels. Given that, it is better we find domestic sources than foreign ones, and the regulation put on Arctic drilling makes the possibility of a spill very small.
In a sense, we face similar choices along the Beartooth Front, where drilling is allowed, but the environmental risk is great. Continue reading
We now have comprehensive data on how much water is required to frack wells. It’s probably more than we have
A new database looks at water usage for every one of the 263,859 oil and gas well drilled in the United States from 2000-2014. This data shows that most wells drilled in Montana are horizontally fracked and that water usage per well is increasing.
Meanwhile, drought conditions throughout the West and in parts of Montana make fresh water increasingly scarce. Along the Beartooth Front, the Stillwater and Clarks Fork Yellowstone basins are particularly dry.
When ECA announced plans to drill 50 wells along the Front, we estimate that it would require 130 million gallons of water to drill them all. Where would this water come from? Continue reading
Energy Corporation of America (ECA) has allowed the company’s permit for the Holman Morse 1-H well in the Dean area of Stillwater County to expire, according to the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC). For those familiar with the area, the well is across the road from Montana Jack’s, which has also expired.
While this is welcome news in the short term, it shouldn’t change our resolve to put in place meaningful local regulation of oil and gas. Continue reading
Click to read BOGC report. Photo: Montana Board of Oil and Gas According to data published by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC), in 2015 there have been a total of 74 “undesirable” oil-related incidents in Montana … Continue reading
A follow up on the June 23 public session at the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) on setbacks of oil and gas wells from occupied buildings and water sources. After a two-hour special hearing with significant testimony, … Continue reading
Pope Francis urges us to start a dialogue to help shape the future of our planet. To help this process along, we put him together with Steve Daines, who has very different ideas on the subject. Continue reading