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.

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.

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.

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