Tag Archives: oil and gas leases

Arguments heard on Badger-Two Medicine drilling lease case

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

It’s spring and time for the next chapter of the legal dispute over the Solonex oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

The legal dispute over possible oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area advanced Wednesday.

The case centers on a roughly 6,200-acre mineral lease there, held by Louisiana-based firm Solenex. The firm’s owner, Sidney Longwell, acquired the lease in 1982. But as he sought approval to drill, he drew greater opposition from enviornmental groups and the Blackfeet Nation, whose reservation abuts Badger-Two Medicine. In 2016, then-secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell concluded that the lease had been improperly issued and canceled it altogether.

Solenex amended a lawsuit it already had pending against Jewell, claiming that she had acted improperly in that decision. In the hearing Wednesday, the sides presented their arguments for summary judgment before Judge Richard Leon in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Read more . . .

Interior Department cancels remaining oil and gas leases in Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Here’s a bit more information on last Tuesday’s announcement of the cancellation of the last two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management has canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Northwest Montana.

The two lease cancellations address outstanding concerns about the potential for oil and gas development in this culturally and ecologically important area. The cancellations come on the heels of U.S. officials cancelling other 15 oil and gas leases in the area.

“We are proud to have worked alongside the Blackfeet Nation and the U.S. Forest Service throughout this process to roll back decades-old leases and reinforce the importance of developing resources in the right way and the right places.” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “The cancellation of the final two leases in the rich cultural and natural Badger-Two Medicine Area will ensure it is protected for future generations.”

Read more . . .

Further reading: The official BLM press release

US cancels last two oil and gas leases in Badger-Two Medicine area

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

With 12 days left in the Obama administration, the Interior Department cancelled the remaining two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management has canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Northwest Montana.

The two lease cancellations address outstanding concerns about the potential for oil and gas development in this culturally and ecologically important area. The cancellations come on the heels of U.S. officials cancelling another 15 oil and gas leases in the area.

“We are proud to have worked alongside the Blackfeet Nation and the U.S. Forest Service throughout this process to roll back decades-old leases and reinforce the importance of developing resources in the right way and the right places.” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “The cancellation of the final two leases in the rich cultural and natural Badger-Two Medicine Area will ensure it is protected for future generations.”

Read more . . .

Devon Energy relinquishes its oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine

Two Medicine Lake
Two Medicine Lake – Flikr User Phil’s Pixels

Devon Energy relinquished its 15 oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. All that’s left now is the ongoing battle with Solonex over their two leases . . .

U.S. officials cancelled 15 oil and gas leases on Wednesday in an area bordering Glacier National Park that’s considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The cancellation was aimed at preserving the Badger-Two Medicine area, a largely-undeveloped, 130,000-acre wilderness that is the site of the creation story for members of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation and the Blackfoot tribes of Canada.

“It should not have been leased to begin with,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in announcing the cancellations at her agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. “This sets the right tone for how business should be done in the future.”

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Tribal leader’s push to protect Badger-Two Medicine paying off

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Looks like more lease cancellations in the Badger-two Medicine region are likely . . .

Blackfeet tribal leaders, conservationists and cultural preservationists have made numerous pilgrimages to Washington, D.C. this year in hopes of furnishing permanent protections on the wild and sacred Badger-Two Medicine region, which for more than three decades has been threatened with industrialization.

This week, their efforts are expected to pay off.

Chief Earl Old Person and the Blackfeet Nation’s elected leadership arrived in the capital this week to underscore their long-standing request that federal land managers cancel a suite of remaining undeveloped oil and gas leases on the 130,000-acre Badger-Two Medicine, which lies on the Rocky Mountain Front, bounded on the north by Glacier National Park and the east by the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

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Judge asked to restore cancelled energy lease in Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Solonex makes the next move in its court fight over cancelled oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

A Louisiana energy company is asking a federal judge to reverse the cancellation of a 33-year-old oil and gas lease on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge filed court papers Monday seeking a judgment in the case that’s before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C.

The 6,200-acre lease is in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It’s just outside Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Read more . . .

Blackfeet Tribe asks to join Badger-Two Medicine suit

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

The Blackfeet are keeping up the pressure in the fight over drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

While a decades-long legal struggle over energy exploration in the Badger-Two Medicine revolves around its sacred nature to the Blackfeet Indians, it wasn’t until this week that the tribe officially asked to join the fight.

Blackfeet tribal leaders joined several conservation groups in requesting intervener status in the case between Solenex LLC and the U.S. Department of the Interior before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. Two months ago, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell accepted a recommendation from the U.S. Forest Service to cancel Solenex’s drilling leases on 6,200 acres of public land just south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Solenex asked Leon to overrule the decision and reinstate the leases.

“Those representing traditional Blackfeet culture did not have a seat at the table 30 years ago when the federal government leased our sacred lands for a dollar an acre,” said John Murray of the Pikuni Traditionalist Association. “This intervention is important to ensure that those representing traditional Blackfeet culture have a seat at the table now as the court considers the validity of the government’s effort to correct that 30-year-old mistake.”

Read more . . .

Badger-Two Medicine oil & gas lease cancellation challenged in federal court

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

As expected, Solonex has challenged the cancellation of their oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine. The paperwork was filed last Friday . . .

A Louisiana company challenged the cancellation of an oil and gas lease in northwest Montana on Friday, after federal officials said drilling would disturb an area sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The 6,200-acre lease owned by Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge is in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It’s just outside Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Attorneys for the company want U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C., to reject the Interior Department’s March 17 cancellation of the lease.

Read more . . .

Feds & environmental groups reach tentative deal over oil & gas lease emissions

Oil and gas development at Colorado's Roan Plateau. Photo by Ecoflight.
Oil and gas development at Colorado’s Roan Plateau. Photo by Ecoflight.

Conservation groups are leaning on the feds over the need to control methane emissions as part of energy development . . .

Environmental groups and the U.S. government reached a tentative agreement to end a dispute over greenhouse gas emissions from federal oil and gas leases in Montana.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice and the environmentalists filed notice in federal court Friday that they have a settlement in principle over a lawsuit that pushes the government to examine the effects on climate change when leasing public lands for energy drilling. They hope to finalize the deal within the month.

The groups say the government should require companies to use technology that would reduce climate-changing methane emissions as a condition of their leases. Better oversight and technology use could cut 40 percent of the methane now lost due to leaking pipes, venting excess gas and exhaust from drilling, processing and transporting the oil and gas, according to the Montana Environmental Information Center, WildEarth Guardians and Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project.

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Feds cancels energy lease in Badger-Two Medicine!

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

After dragging their feet as long as possible and a frank exchange of views with a federal judge, the feds finally cancelled a disputed drilling lease in the Badger-Two Medicine . . .

The Obama administration has cancelled a disputed oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced Thursday the Bureau of Land Management has cancelled the 6,200-acre lease in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. The lease, currently held by Solonex LLC, was issued by the BLM in 1982 on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The cancellation is expected to be challenged in federal court by Solenex, a Louisiana company seeking to drill for oil and gas.

The BLM concluded the Solonex lease was improperly issued in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historical Preservation Act. The agency consulted with the U.S. Forest Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Blackfeet Tribe, leaseholder and others, according to federal officials.

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