A D.C. District Court judge reinstated a set of disputed oil leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. The saga continues. Expect an appeal . . .
The government’s decision to cancel an oil and gas lease in the Badger-T
wo Medicine area of Montana was “arbitrary and capricious” and the lease should be reinstated, a federal judge says.
In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reiterated what he said in a previous order in the case in which he criticized the government for first delaying implementation of the lease for 29 years before finally canceling it.
The next chapter begins in the battle over the fate of the Solonex oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine region. The feds have, uh, decided to make a decision . . .
U.S. government officials plan to decide this fall whether to take steps to lift the suspension of an oil and gas lease on land sacred to Native Americans or to begin the four-month process of canceling it, according to court documents filed Monday.
The timeline for resolving the decades-old suspension of the lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park was created after a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to come up with a timeline to complete their review.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Solenex LLC sued to lift the suspension and begin drilling this summer on the 6,200-acre oil and gas lease it acquired in 1982. The suspension has been in place since 1993 while federal officials consider the environmental and cultural impacts.
The feds have until August 17 to make a decision on a suspended old lease in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .
A federal judge has had enough in a longstanding delay on a Louisiana’s oilman’s attempt to explore the Badger-Two Medicine region for oil and gas.
On July 27, U.S. Disitrict Court Judge Richard Leon gave the U.S. Department of Interior 21 days to come up with a resolution on the decision whether to lift a lease given to the Solonex Corp. owned by Sidney Longwell near Hall Creek back in 1982.
The leases are just a few miles south of Glacier National Park near Marias Pass in some of the wildest country in the region.
The Blackfeet kick it up another notch in their campaign to terminate oil leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .
The Blackfeet Nation is enlisting the help of a member of one of America’s most popular rock bands to help protect a culturally and environmentally significant plot of land on the eastern edge of Glacier National Park.
On April 22, members of the Blackfeet Nation held a press conference to kick off a campaign to rally public support to terminate 18 oil leases within the Badger-Two Medicine. The mountainous area, located between the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is an important part of the tribe’s creation story and is known as the “Backbone of the World.”
To help get the word out, the Blackfeet have enlisted the help of Jeff Ament, bass player for Pearl Jam. On Wednesday, Ament posted a message supporting the Badger-Two Medicine effort on the band’s official Facebook page.
More tribal pressure to terminate oil leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. . .
The chief of the Blackfeet Nation has asked President Barack Obama to cancel oil leases in the culturally and environmentally significant Badger-Two Medicine area east of the divide.
Chief Earl Old Person, a member of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council since 1954, sent a letter to Obama last month asking him to help protect the mountainous area between the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He also invited the president to Blackfeet Country to see the area for himself.
The Badger-Two Medicine is an important area in the Blackfeet creation story and is known as the “Backbone of the World.” In 1982, the U.S. government leased land within the Badger-Two Medicine to oil companies and of the 47 land leases originally issued, 18 remain. For years, tribal officials have tried to terminate the leases but in 2013 the final leaseholder, Sidney Longwell of Solenext, LLC, filed a lawsuit so it could begin drilling for oil. No ruling has been made in the case.
A very informative article posted late last night to the Missoulian’s web site . . .
While about 80 percent of existing energy exploration leases in the North Fork Flathead have been retired by the world’s leading oil, gas and mining companies, a handful of parcels remain in contention by smaller firms.
Those holdings include nearly 138,000 acres in Flathead County that extend into the Haskill Basin drainage, the primary source of Whitefish’s drinking water supply, as well as along the western edge of Glacier National Park in the Flathead National Forest and underneath Big Mountain.
BP has climbed on the bandwagon, retiring their local oil and gas leases, including “a 394-acre parcel near the Polebridge entrance to Glacier National Park.”
The Missoulian has the story . . .
The oil company BP voluntarily gave up its rights to explore for energy along the western border of Glacier National Park, U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced Friday.
“Permanently protecting the North Fork for our kids and grandkids has been one of my biggest priorities for many years,” Baucus said in a written statement. “Today’s decision by BP is another step toward that goal.”
The deal takes 1,853 acres out of potential exploration. That includes a 394-acre parcel near the Polebridge entrance to Glacier National Park.
Another 11 oil and gas exploration leases along the west side of Glacier National Park have been voluntarily released, according to Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
XTO Energy has decided not to pursue its development options on about 21,000 acres along the North Fork of the Flathead River. That means nearly 79 percent of the area’s oil and gas leases, totaling more than 200,000 acres, have been taken off the table. XTO Energy is a subsidiary of ExxonMobile Corp.
Posted early this morning to the Missoulian’s website . . .
A measure that would ban federal-land mining along Glacier National Park’s western edge has passed a major Senate hurdle, and has been expanded to provide water-quality protections for nearby communities…
…the bill banning future federal mine leases has been expanded from its original to include the watershed upstream of Whitefish Lake, the nearby Haskill Basin drainage, and the wild and scenic Middle Fork Flathead corridor.