Oil & Gas
- Fighting for landowner protections
- Pushing for oil by rail safety
- Supporting federal methane rules
- Opposing ungoverned disposal of radioactive oilfield waste
- Northern Plains’ statement supporting Standing Rock Sioux pipeline fight
Fighting for landowner protections
Northern Plains works at the Montana legislature, with the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, and at the county level to protect Montana citizens’ private property, water rights, farming and ranching communities, and recreational opportunities in areas with historic and proposed oil and gas development. Our members work for basic landowner protections that put community interests above oil and gas profits and empower communities to guide development.
Stand up today for the basic protection of being informed of proposed oil and gas wells- thank the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation for voting to initiating rule-making on drilling notification.
Pushing for oil by rail safety
Thousands of Montanans living 1 mile on either side of train tracks live in the “oil train fire impact zone.” An oil train derailment near their homes would put these Montanans at risk of oil spills, explosive fires, toxic fumes, particulates, smoke, and possible evacuation.
Northern Plains is laying the groundwork for our grassroots efforts to push the 2017 Montana legislature to reduce the risks of transportation oil by rail and protect the safety of Montana’s rail communities, air, and water.
Supporting federal methane rules
Since 2013, Northern Plains has been supporting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Environmental Protective Agency’s (EPA) efforts to develop federal rules to limit dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.
Oil and gas companies often flare (burn natural gas deemed uneconomical to collect), vent (directly release methane gas into the air) and leak methane at well sites. Wasted gas means lost royalties and tax revenue, increased asthma and other respiratory risks from exposure to toxic volatile organic compounds, and damage to the climate from methane pollution. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that packs more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in the near term.
Opposing ungoverned disposal of radioactive oilfield waste
Oilfield waste products can contain low concentrations of naturally-occurring radioactive materials. However, oilfield waste is exempt from national legislation regulating solid and hazardous waste, leaving the safe disposal of radioactive oilfield waste up to individual states.
Unfortunately, Montana still has no rules governing the transport, storage, or disposal of oilfield waste.
Since Montana’s first special oilfield waste facility opened near Glendive in 2013, Northern Plains members have been pushing the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to develop rules to govern the safe disposal of radioactive oilfield waste.
Montana’s residents have been waiting long enough for rules to be developed by the Montana DEQ to govern the disposal of dangerous radioactive oilfield waste. Despite the existing lack of rules, Montana DEQ has permitted three sites to take this radioactive oilfield waste an done has been in operation since 2013, putting water and nearby landowners at risk.
Northern Plains statement supporting Standing Rock Sioux in pipeline fight
The leadership of Northern Plains Resource Council has come out in support of the ongoing protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and all other Indian nations that have taken action against the pipeline. Here is the statement:
“Northern Plains Resource Council is a grassroots conservation and family agriculture group. We organize Montanans to protect our water quality, family farms and ranches, and unique quality of life.
“We strongly support the people of the Standing Rock Nation and their historic effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from endangering their tribal lands, sacred sites, and the health of the Missouri River. Montanans have lived through the two massive oil pipeline breaks in the Yellowstone River in the past five years alone; we appreciate the courage of the Standing Rock Sioux as they protect future generations from this project.
“We are inspired by the courage of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and all other tribes who have converged on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to offer powerful, peaceful, and prayerful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline and the immense political and economic power of the multinational corporations backing it.
“We are grateful to all nations and peoples who stand together in unity and solidarity to protect the water, land, and cultures that are so vital to the Native peoples of the Great Plains, as well as to all Americans.
“We believe that all who care about land, water, and a livable future need to listen to the words and actions of the Standing Rock Sioux as they protect their home. We thank the tribe for reminding us and the whole world that “water is life,” and for demanding that their rights, wisdom, and traditions be respected.”