BOGC listens to website woes – Public News Service, Oct. 15, 2014

October 15, 2014

Categories: News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oil and gas

By Deb Courson Smith

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) meets today and the first topic of business is a request from the Northern Plains Resource Council to improve public access to information about the impacts of oil and gas development.

Council member Pat Wilson of Bainville says as a rancher in the heart of the Bakken, he can’t make the trip to the BOGC office very often to look up hard copies of information especially related to spills and flaring. He doesn’t understand why, in this day and age, it practically takes Superman X-ray vision powers to navigate the BOGC website.

“If you go to their website and try to look up information on any well, you find you have to have an incredible amount of information in order to get to the information that you want,” Wilson says.

The information is public record and, Wilson adds, important because it affects people’s health and property values.

Wilson says there’s no doubt a website redesign might be a big project, but not impossible. For comparison, he encourages Montanans to check out the information available online from North Dakota agencies involved with oil and gas oversight.

“If you go into North Dakota and try to access things about saltwater spills, for example, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips,” he says.

Making the information readily available would also show where more data collection might be needed, according to the Northern Plains Resource Council.

220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154