Reforming Oil & Gas Operations

We are working to ensure oil and gas development in the American West does not undermine our transition to renewable energy, to protect wildlands and communities threatened with oil and gas leasing and drilling, and to reduce methane pollution and waste.

House takes extreme measures to promote methane waste from oil and gas (News Release 2/3/17)

2/03/2017
Misguided ideological frenzy could claim innocent bystander

In a close vote, the House of Representatives voted today to repeal a popular, common-sense Bureau of Management rule limiting methane waste by oil and gas companies on public and tribal lands. This was made possible by the Congressional Review Act, an obscure, last-resort tool used successfully only once in American history.

What’s at stake if Congress cuts methane regs

1/31/2017

In the 1880s, farmers on Colorado’s Front Range got fired up about— what else? Water. Their irrigation water came from Clear Creek, a stream that gets its start up on the Continental Divide, then tumbles through mining country before spilling onto the plains west of Denver. Along the way, mills that processed the ore from numerous mines dumped their tailings — sludge loaded with toxic metals and acid-forming sulfides — directly into the stream.

Health, Environmental, and Tribal Groups Applaud Order Denying Industry Efforts to Halt BLM Methane Waste Rule Implementation (News Release 1/17/17)

1/17/2017
Rule Would Reduce Egregious Methane Waste, Benefit Taxpayers, Communities, Public Health

Sixteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans applaud a decision issued yesterday by Wyoming federal judge Scott W. Skavdahl rejecting industry and state efforts to halt implementation of an updated common-sense U.S. Bureau of Land Management methane rule that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Indigenous Leaders Rally in Santa Fe to Stop Chaco Oil and Gas Sale (Media Advisory 1/11/17)

Navajo Chapter Presidents, Tribal members, and New Mexico Water Protectors call on BLM State Office to Cancel January Auction

On January 25, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scheduled to hold an online auction of 843 acres of public lands near Chaco Culture National Historical Park for oil and gas leasing. The proposed parcels have been challenged and deferred three times previously.

Proximity of oil and gas parcels to Chaco park spur protest

12/09/2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Environmentalists are challenging plans by federal land managers to lease four parcels in northwestern New Mexico for oil and gas development, saying the property is too close to Chaco Cultural National Historical Park.

The world heritage site and its outlying archaeological remnants have become the focus of the fight over expanded drilling in one of the nation’s largest natural gas fields.

Coalition applauds final denial of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline (News Release 12/12/16)

12/12/2016

Late Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a request from Canadian oil and gas companies for rehearing of the case surrounding the proposed Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline, finalizing the commission's rejection of the project in March.

Coalition Calls on Obama Administration to Protect Greater Chaco, Navajo Communities from Fracking (News Release 12/8/16)

12/08/2016
Groups Appeal to Overturn U.S. Bureau of Land Management Plans to Auction Public, Tribal Lands to the Oil and Gas Industry

Citing the dangers and destruction caused by unchecked fracking in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico, a coalition this week called on the Obama Administration to reverse plans to auction off public and Tribal lands in the region to the oil and gas industry.

Public Health and Environmental Groups Move to Defend Standards to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas on Public Lands (News Release 12/2/16)

12/02/2016
Groups Seek to Join Lawsuit to Oppose Challenges to the Standards

Fifteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans took legal steps today to defend new standards that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Terry Tempest Williams & Brooke Williams appeal to Interior Board of Land Appeals over oil and gas lease purchase (News Release 11/17/16)

11/17/2016
Famed author and husband punished for common industry practice

Today, on behalf of Terry Tempest Williams and Brooke Williams, the Western Environmental Law Center administratively challenged the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) rejection of the Tempest Exploration Company's October 2016 bids on oil and gas leases in Utah. WELC filed the appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, which reviews appeals from bureau decisions relating to the use and disposition of public lands and their resources.

Obama Administration finalizes rule to protect public health, taxpayers, environment from methane waste on public lands (News Release 11/15/16)

11/15/2016

After years of advocacy by a broad coalition of partner groups across the West and in Washington, D.C., we are proud to announce that today the Obama Administration released new rules that will reduce the wholesale waste of natural gas by the oil and gas industry–the nation's largest methane emitter–on our public lands. These rules are long overdue, modernizing outdated and ineffective waste guidance adopted 36 years ago. We applaud the administration for taking this essential step in stopping the wanton waste of America’s natural gas resources.

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