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 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.
 

[UPDATED] Only two highly polluting states challenge EPA methane rule (News Release 8/2/16)

8/02/2016
Broad support for common-sense emissions reductions persists

[UPDATE: After releasing this statement, 14 states filed a lawsuit against the EPA and Gina McCarthy over the methane new source rule, calling it "in excess of the agency's statutory authority and otherwise is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law." We disagree -- reducing air pollution is precisely the purpose of the Clean Air Act, on which this rule is based.

Groups Challenge BLM Plan to Double Drilling in Colorado River Valley (Press Release 7/18/16)

7/18/2016
Plan Allows Concentrated Drilling in Communities, But Fails to Consider Human Health and Climate

Today a coalition of environmental watchdog groups challenged a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan to expand oil and gas drilling on Colorado’s Western Slope, intensifying well density in communities already forced to endure a legacy of industrial gas development. BLM’s Colorado River Valley Resource Management Plan (RMP) failed to analyze the impacts of such concentrated development on human health and wellbeing, ignored the resulting effects on climate change, and failed to consider mitigation measures to reduce these impacts.

Report: Living near oil & gas emissions increases cancer risk

6/16/2016

More than 145,000 New Mexicans who live within a half-mile of oil and gas operations face a higher risk of cancer and respiratory diseases, according to data from a new mapping project.

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution (Press Release 5/12/16)

5/12/2016
Standards are the First-Ever National Protections Against Methane Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards for methane pollution, a component of natural gas, from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. These safeguards are the first-ever national standards for methane pollution, a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the near term.

Citizen Groups Challenge Fracking in Santa Fe National Forest (Press Release 5/4/16)

5/04/2016
Legal Push Part of Broader Effort to Safeguard Greater Chaco from Oil and Gas Industry

In a bid to protect New Mexico's water, air, and climate, a coalition of environmental groups filed suit yesterday challenging the Obama administration's plan to allow fracking in the Santa Fe National Forest.

In Wake of WA Climate Rule Withdrawal, Youth Petitioners Return to Court (Press Release 4/6/16)

Ordered to Act With Urgency, Ecology Responds With More Delays

Late yesterday, the youth petitioners in a precedent-setting case over climate disruption in Washington state asked the court to step in yet again after the state Department of Ecology withdrew its proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions. By withdrawing the proposed rule, Ecology demonstrated it is unable or unwilling to fulfill its legal responsibilities absent a court order directing it to do so in a timely manner.  

BLM Defers Fracking Around New Mexico’s Sacred Chaco Canyon for Third Time (Press Release 3/22/16)

3/22/2016
Rampant Drilling in the San Juan Basin Continues to Threaten Public Health, the Climate, Clean Air and Water

UPDATE: BLM has admitted an internal mix-up on this issue. The leases are not yet deferred, and we can expect a news release from the agency on or around May 5.

 

Citizen Groups Challenge Plans to Green Light Huge Fossil Fuel Development in Powder River Basin (Press Release 3/15/16)

3/15/2016
BLM Plans Span 10 Million Acres, 81 Billion Tons of Coal

A plan to keep open vast amounts of public land in Montana and Wyoming for fossil fuel development and drilling is short-sighted and fails to consider dramatic changes in energy markets that make such thinking both obsolete and financially risky, a coalition of conservation groups contend in a lawsuit filed today.

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