Category Archives: Fracking Information

“SLAPP suit” attempts to intimidate organizations protesting local oil and gas zoning

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The regulation of Arctic Ocean drilling, with implications for the Beartooth Front

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Energy Corporation of America Stillwater drilling permit expires

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

There have been 66 oil-related spills and 8 oil fires in Montana so far this year

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

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

Follow up on last week’s setback hearings at the Montana Board of Oil and Gas

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A debate between Pope Francis and Montana Senator Steve Daines on climate change

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

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Action Alert: Your voice is needed to put strong Montana setback rules into place

Montana currently has no setback requirements that require many distances between wellheads and occupied dwellings or water sources. Your voice is needed to tell the Montana Board of Oil and Gas that it is time to protect Montana citizens. Continue reading

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Great Falls Tribune interview with Jim Halvorson of the Montana Board of Oil and Gas

“Drilling in the Bakken Formation in Montana has basically ceased at the current oil price, which fell dramatically last fall. There have not been many wells actually shut-in yet but there are some drilled wells that might not be put in production until the oil price improves.” Continue reading

Posted in Fracking Information | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New study: drilling causes water contamination in Pennsylvania wells

An analysis of drinking water sampled from three homes in Bradford County, Pennsylvania revealed traces of a compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale drilling fluids, according to a study published on Monday. “This is the first documented and published demonstration … Continue reading

Posted in Fracking Information, Health impacts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments