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.

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 These rules are long overdue, modernizing outdated and ineffective waste guidance adopted 36 years ago.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.

BLM Delivers Blow

10/20/2016
Feds deny author/activist Terry Tempest Williams the right to purchase leases and, like oil and gas companies often do, leave them undeveloped

While oil and gas companies hold nearly 20 million acres of land leased for oil and gas drilling that has yet to be developed, the US Bureau of Land Management has rejected Tempest Exploration Company, LLC’s ability to do the same.

Feds to look closer at oil, gas drilling near Chaco Canyon

10/20/2016

The federal government announced Thursday that it will study the potential effects of drilling on public and tribal lands near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in the San Juan Basin, an area that is one of the state’s largest centers for oil and gas production.

Environmental groups applauded the decision as a meaningful step forward, one that signals the U.S. Interior Department is making an effort to heed their concerns. But some question its relevance, citing the high level of oil and gas development already underway in the area.

Groups Call on Obama to Align Public Lands Management in Western CO with U.S. Climate Goals (News Release 11/1/16)

11/01/2016
Conservation groups today called on the Obama Administration to align public lands management with U.S. climate goals, in response to a draft proposal that would intensify fossil fuel extraction on one million acres of public land and mineral rights in western Colorado. Local groups want to shift their economy away from coal, oil, and gas, and toward sustainable organic agriculture and recreational tourism.

Court allows continued intensive, unstudied fracking in Greater Chaco (News Release 10/27/16)

10/27/2016
Northwest New Mexico oil drilling will continue despite risks to communities, cultural resources and environment

Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted Thursday when the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's decision to deny a temporary halt to drilling until a full decision on the merits can be reached. Despite the lack of environmental review or a comprehensive plan for fracking in the area, the Bureau of Land Management will be allowed to continue to grant hundreds or even thousands of new permits to drill and frack the area.

My View: Finally, a smoking gun in New Mexico’s methane ‘hot spot’

8/27/2016

In 2014, New Mexico made national headlines when scientists discovered an atmospheric anomaly above the Four Corners: a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane (natural gas) — the largest such plume in the nation. At the time, industry data showed that oil and gas development was responsible for 90 percent of the known methane emissions. Nonetheless, for the next two years, the oil and gas industry blamed every other imaginable methane source, refusing to take responsibility for the "hot spot" and its associated health and climate threats.

Environmentalists sue feds to block oil, gas lease sales

8/25/2016

A Santa Fe-based environmental group filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Thursday, seeking a moratorium on all oil and gas lease sales on public land until the completion of an analysis showing how drilling impacts climate change.

WildEarth Guardians and Washington, D.C.-based Physicians for Social Responsibility claim in the suit that nearly 400 drilling leases were sold across 380,000 acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming without any analysis of the environmental or public health effects.

Thousands Speak out for Climate and Chaco Canyon, Call for Canceling New Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale (News Release 9/2/16)

9/02/2016
New Mexicans Demand Obama Administration Protect Public Lands and Communities, Keep Oil and Gas In the Ground

A coalition today called on the Obama Administration to rein in unchecked fracking near Chaco Canyon and abandon its plans to auction off nearly 1,000 acres of public lands to the oil and gas industry in Greater Chaco.

Obama Administration Sued to Protect Climate, Public Lands from Drilling and Fracking (News Release 8/25/16)

8/25/2016
10 Million Acres Leased for Oil and Gas by Obama, Yet Climate Change Consistently Ignored

WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility today filed a landmark federal lawsuit to defend our climate, our health, and American public lands from widespread oil and gas leasing, drilling, and fracking. Plaintiffs are challenging 397 leases spanning almost 380,000 acres.

NASA Says Methane "Hot Spot" in New Mexico Linked Directly to Gas Extraction and Coal Mining (News Release 8/15/16)

Study says 250 polluters are responsible for half of the emissions causing the "hot spot"

NASA released a new study today examining what caused a methane "hot spot" to form in New Mexico. This new study of methane emissions generated by the oil and gas industry in the state's San Juan Basin is a major step forward in understanding the causes of New Mexico’s methane “hot spot.” It follows up on a 2014 satellite-based study that initially found the “hot spot,” and sought to identify its specific causes.
 

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