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.

Report: State regulations allow rampant natural gas waste (Press Release 1/13/16)

1/13/2016
Strong BLM rule needed to prevent resource waste, protect public health, royalties, environment

Today, the Western Environmental Law Center and Western Organization of Resource Councils released a report on state oil and gas regulations for methane waste. The authors performed extensive research to determine whether anticipated federal standards are needed to fill holes in state oil and gas methane waste regulations for federal lands.

Hearing in Youths' Landmark Climate Change Lawsuit Held in Seattle at King County Courthouse (Press Release 10/13/15)

10/13/2015

WHAT:
Judge Hollis Hill will hear oral argument in the important case brought by seven young Washingtonians to address Washington Department of Ecology’s persistent refusal to set science-based carbon pollution limits. 

WHEN:
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Court hearing begins at 8:30 am; please arrive by 8:00 am to secure your seat. 

WHERE:
King County Courthouse, Courtroom W-941
516 Third Avenue, Seattle, Washington 

EPA Methane Rule a Quadruple Win (Press Release 8/18/15)

8/18/2015
Reductions will benefit climate, improve health, reduce waste and generate revenue

EPA today released first-ever standards to control methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, the largest man-made source of these emissions. The rule is a key component in meeting President Obama’s goals for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. Methane warms the climate over 80 times more than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. And methane emissions reductions stand to benefit more than just the climate — this move will improve public health, generate royalties and reduce waste.

Judge Fails to Halt Fracking in Greater Chaco (Press Release 8/17/15)

8/17/2015
Northwest New Mexico Oil Drilling Will Continue Despite Risks to Communities, Cultural Resources and the Environment

Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted Friday when a federal judge failed to grant a temporary halt to drilling. 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. 

Life around New Mexico's gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul (The Guardian 8/14/15)

8/14/2015
Leaked methane and other toxic gases are polluting the air with serious health risks for local communities whose fortunes depend on oil and gas in the shale boom state

“My daughter has asthma. She is not the only one around here, something is wrong here, our air quality shouldn’t be this way.”

Shirley “Sug” McNall is leaning up against a fence staring at a natural gas well about 40 meters from a playground behind the primary school where her daughter used to teach in Aztec, New Mexico. She believes that the gas industry and the explosion of fracking in her state is responsible for serious impacts on local air quality which are affecting people’s health.

Inslee: I’ll use my authority to impose cap on emissions (Seattle Times 7/28/15)

7/28/2015
After being stymied on climate policy in the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he’s pressing ahead with executive action to impose a cap on carbon emissions.

Frustrated by legislative inaction on climate, Gov. Jay Inslee plans to wield his administration’s executive authority to impose a binding cap on carbon emissions in Washington state.

Gov. Inslee Directs The Washington Department Of Ecology To Take Serious Action On Climate Change (Press Release 7/28/15)

7/28/2015
Gov. Sides With Youth Standing Up For Their Right To A Healthy Future

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee directed the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) to take serious action on climate change. Inslee said Washingtonians have too much at stake to wait any longer for legislative action, and directed Ecology to step up enforcement of existing state pollution laws and to develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions.

Courtroom slugfest nears as drilling creeps toward ancient Chaco world (E&E News 7/13/15)

7/13/2015

Kyle Tisdel and Samantha Ruscavage-Barz sift through rocks beside a dusty road in New Mexico's high desert, searching for remnants of life a thousand years past.

With the nearest meager town of Cuba an hour away, they're off the beaten path by any standard. But to them, these dirt roads surrounding Chaco Canyon are the front lines of a monumental battle pitting ancient Pueblo culture against the modern world's thirst for oil.

Drilling dims the star-bright night sky above N.M.'s shale frontier (E&E News 7/21/15)

7/21/2015

CHACO CANYON, N.M. -- It's 7:45 a.m. on a sunny June morning and a line is already forming outside the visitor center at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The sign-up list for a moonlit walk through the park's most prized Pueblo ruins has only 30 spots, and the lights in the sky are promising a show tonight.

Later, as the sun sets over the West Mesa and the moon rises over the ancient walls of Pueblo Bonito, park ranger G.B. Cornucopia fixes his gaze on the Western sky.

Shocker Court Ruling: Cut Carbon Emissions to Save Humanity From Climate Change (News 7/23/15)

7/23/2015

What if the public, alarmed about government’s failure to do enough, fast enough, to stop climate change while there’s still time, could sue?

Nine hundred Dutch citizens have done just that—and won. The historic recent decision, rendered in June, is already inspiring lawsuits in other countries.

Meanwhile, in Washington State, a group of kids have won a case against the Department of Ecology, forcing it to “consider the undisputed current science necessary for climate recovery.”

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