natural gas

Oil Crash Raises New Fears About Abandoned Wells

Sep 29, 2015
An abandoned coal bed methane well sits in a pool of water on the outskirts of Gillette, Wyoming.
Stephanie Joyce/Wyoming Public Radio

When energy booms bust, the public is often left responsible for the cleanup. That’s because while most states and the federal government make companies put up at least some money in advance to pay for any mess they leave behind, it’s often not enough.

Greater sage grouse. The Department of Interior announced it's decision today not to recommend endangered species protections for the bird.

Governor Steve Bullock says Tuesday’s decision to not recommend endangered species protection for the greater sage grouse is good for both industry and conservationists.

The Solenex well site in the Badger-Two Medicine
Corin Cates-Carney

A federal advisory council that’s been reviewing a decades old proposal to explore for energy in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest issued its recommendation today.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s recommendation says:

Greater Sage Grouse
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (CC-BY-2)

The federal government could announce whether the greater sage grouse will be added to the endangered species list as early as next week.

Members of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation hear comments on proposed drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area in Choteau, MT Sept. 2, 2015
Corin Cates-Carney

The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation held a meeting in Choteau Wednesday evening on proposed drilling on U.S. Forest Service land in the Badger-Two Medicine area. The council is trying to understand how and if the exploration for natural gas can comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Solenex well site in the Badger-Two Medicine
Corin Cates-Carney

John Murray, the Blackfeet Tribe’s historic preservation officer says the Badger-Two Medicine is sacred land. As he walks through the tall dry grass here, he refuses to give life to the idea that this land will be disturbed in search of natural gas.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

Wednesday brings another round in the decades-long fight over whether to allow energy development on U.S. Forest Service land in the Badger-Two Medicine area just south of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A federal judge has given Interior Secretary Sally Jewell three weeks to take action on a Louisiana company’s natural gas leases near Glacier National Park that have been held up for 29 years.

Lower Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain at sunset.
flickr user Ryan McKee (CC-BY-ND-2.0)

The Blackfeet Tribe has withdrawn from talks with the U.S. Government over natural gas drilling leases on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people.

Louisiana company Solenex holds drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Gov. Bullock Signs Tax Breaks For Pollution Control Equipment

May 14, 2015
Rep. Mike Miller and Governor Steve Bullock at a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 156, tax cuts for pollution control equipment, at the Billings-area Chamber of Commerce.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

A tax cut for industry to install pollution control and carbon sequestration equipment is good for industry, jobs, and public health.

That’s the message from Governor Steve Bullock during a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday in Billings.

Lawmakers Consider Creating Oil And Gas Trust Fund

Feb 5, 2015
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

The author of Montana’s coal tax and the constitutional coal tax trust fund wholeheartedly supports creation of a constitutionally protected oil and gas tax trust fund. Former Billings legislator Tom Towe says, like the constitutionally protected coal tax trust, this would be a gift to future generations.

Amy R. Sisk

The Bakken oil boom in Montana has already busted. That’s according to Terry Johnson, director of energy research at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic research.

"I would argue that the Bakken boom in Montana actually occurred back in 2005 and 2006. That the boom is really no longer that present in Montana at this point in time."

Bill Would Speed Up Spending For Oil & Gas Impacted Counties

Jan 22, 2015
Montana Legislature

A legislator wants to get money to oil boom impacted counties faster. The money could be used to for infrastructure projects, schools, or public safety.

If enacted, the bill directs the department of commerce to compare the current amount of oil and natural gas production taxes collected against the average of those taxes collected over the past four years.

If the current amount exceeds that four year average, then 70% of the excess would be used for oil impacted projects.

Green-Washing Coal Mining And Coal Exports

Aug 27, 2014

The Oregon Department of State Lands recently denied a permit to Ambre Energy for its proposed coal shipping port on the Columbia River at Boardman. That proposed Morrow Pacific coal port is the smallest of the three coal ports still under consideration in the Pacific Northwest to move Powder River Basin coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asian markets.

Hello, I’m Don Sterhan with the Montana Business Leadership Council, a non-profit organization aimed at educating Montanans about the importance of a healthy climate for business and industry to create more jobs, higher wages, and new opportunities.


Living on Earth Extra

Mar 12, 2014

03/12/2014 - The Crimean Conflict and Energy, Reducing Sulfur, Saving Lives, and Ice Climbing