Montana Public Radio

oil

Oil well.
(PD)

A U.S. District Court judge Thursday ordered the reinstatement of an oil and gas industry regulation that aims to lower harmful methane emissions. Environmental groups say it’s a win for states including Montana.

Oil well.
(PD)

Crude oil prices hit a new high Wednesday. MTPR's Edward O’Brien has more on what that means for consumers and what’s left of Montana’s oil producers

U.S. crude notched above $61 a barrel, Wednesday. That’s the first time that’s happened in two-and-a-half years.

On Thursday, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on draft rules to oversee the disposal of radioactive oil waste in the state. 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to streamline the process for oil and gas development on federal lands. Zinke signed an order Thursday mandating Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales be held in each state on at least a quarterly basis.

Zinke noted during a telephone press conference that under the Obama administration BLM fell far short of that legally-mandated limit.

Greater sage-grouse.
USFWS

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today he is ordering a review of federal efforts to conserve the imperiled sage grouse. Zinke says he wants to ensure that officials in 11 Western states where the bird lives are fully consulted.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

A Texas oilman is suing the federal government after they canceled his lease, along with two others, in the Badger Two-Medicine area south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

The area is a sacred site for the Blackfeet Nation.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
Flickr user shannonpatrick17 http://bit.ly/2H4u5Kk (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It’s springtime in Montana and that’s keeping Glendive-area farmer Dena Hoff plenty busy these days:

"Oh yes, we’re lambing. It’s been crazy," Hoff says.

Hoff, an irrigated farmer on the Yellowstone River, is also keeping tabs on the Trump administration's activities in Washington D.C. Hoff is particularly disappointed by the President’s decision last week to approve a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline:

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

There’s a new plan to restore the Yellowstone River following a 2011 Exxon-Mobil pipeline rupture. The spill leaked 1,500 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone, harming fish and wildlife, and their habitat.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Interior Department Tuesday canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area between Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation. The undeveloped leases were first issued in the 1980's in an area that is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

US Considers Mining Limits In West To Save Sage Grouse

Dec 29, 2016
Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

DENVER (AP) — The Obama administration offered five possible plans Thursday for limiting mining on federal land in the West to protect the vulnerable greater sage grouse, but it isn't saying which it prefers.

The options range from banning new mining activity on about 15,000 square miles for up to 20 years to imposing no additional restrictions on mine locations.

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