Montana Public Radio

oil

Protesters in Great Falls, Montana rally in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, May 23, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Protesters are marching in Great Falls this evening to rally opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The event was organized by groups suing in federal court to overturn the Trump Administration's presidential permit for the pipeline to run from Alberta, Canada across Northeast Montana, down to Nebraska.

"We can’t pretend that this was parachuted in by a bunch of evil oil giants. We were all part of making this happen." -- Chris Turner

Alberta’s oil sands have become the front line of a high-stakes collision between two conflicting world views: one of industrial triumph, and the other of environmental stewardship. Award-winning writer Chris Turner’s "The Patch" offers readers the first objective, beautifully written, single-narrative portrait of the oil sands, untangling the web of vested interests and showing just how deeply the oil sands affect all our lives.

Oil well.
(PD)

Environmental groups and landowners Tuesday filed a lawsuit to cancel the federal government’s recent sale of almost 300 oil and gas leases on federal land in Montana.

Trump Proposes Easing Oil, Gas Leasing Restrictions In West

May 2, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to ease restrictions on oil and gas leasing and other activities across a huge swath of the American West that were enacted to protect a declining bird species.

Interior Department officials on Wednesday released a draft of their proposed changes to conservation plans for the greater sage grouse in seven states.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

US Delays Oil, Gas Sales In Montana After Climate Ruling

Apr 25, 2018
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials delayed lease sales on federal oil and gas reserves beneath more than 160 square miles (414 square kilometers) of public and private lands in eastern Montana in response to a recent court ruling on climate change, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said Wednesday.

Ryan Zinke.
(PD)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today said his agency should be a partner with oil and gas companies that seek to drill on public land. He said that long regulatory reviews with an uncertain outcome are "un-American."

Speaking to a major energy-industry conference today, Zinke described the Trump administration's efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators.

The sale of oil and gas leases on more than 17,000 acres of federal land in south central Montana was postponed today.

The Bureau of Land Management pulled the leases on the parcels just outside Livingston and in the foothills of the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges one week before they were set to be part of a statewide oil and gas lease sale.

The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

“This is a huge red flag,” says Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation group says it would cost taxpayers more than six billion dollars to clean up all the wells on federal land.

Several Stillwater County citizens have filed a lawsuit to try to force Stillwater County to act on their efforts to create a citizen initiated zoning district. They want to mitigate any impacts on their property, the environment, and to the local infrastructure if oil and gas drilling takes place along the Beartooth Front.

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