A Louisiana company has asked a federal judge to block government plans to cancel a long-stalled federal energy lease on land considered sacred to American Indians.
The Interior Department announced in November that it plans to cancel the 6,200-acre lease near Glacier National Park because it was improperly issued in 1982. It’s owned by Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In a Tuesday court filing, company attorney Steven Lechner said the government arbitrarily reversed course last year after previous determinations that the leases were valid.
After several weeks of closed-door discussions aimed at resolving a lawsuit over drilling leases in the Badger-Two medicine region, the Interior Department and Solonex, the Louisiana energy company that brought the lawsuit, notified the court yesterday afternoon that they intend to resume litigation.
This means the government will press ahead with their decision to cancel all energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine and Solonex will fight the decision.
Expect some sort of fireworks within the next couple of weeks.
Here’s a non-surprise: After the Solonex lawsuit forced the federal government to take an official stance on the issue of energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region, attorneys on both sides want to move the discussion behind closed doors for a while . . .
The Interior Department and a Louisiana energy company are asking a federal judge to pause court proceedings in a dispute over a drilling lease near Glacier National Park.
Attorneys for the two sides said in a Wednesday court filing that they want more time to see if they can resolve the case outside of court.
They asked U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to put the case on hold until Jan. 8.
No surprise here, but it is good to see the official ruling from the U.S. Department of the Interior concerning the contentious oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine . . .
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced its aim to cancel a contentious oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area, a landscape that connects the Bob Marshall Wilderness to Glacier National Park and is considered a sacred cultural reserve by the Blackfeet Nation.
In a court-ordered response filed Nov. 23, attorneys for the Interior Department submitted a decision hailed by tribal leaders, conservation groups and political leaders as a “critical step forward” in the pursuit of furnishing permanent protections on the region.
The decision follows an earlier recommendation by the U.S. Forest Service that energy exploration on the 165,000-acre parcel would irreparably damage the area’s cultural and historic significance.
A group of former Glacier Park superintendents want the Badger-Two Medicine drilling leases canceled . . .
If one were to hike in the Badger-Two Medicine region of the Lewis and Clark National Forest right now, they’d likely come upon a sign warning of a grizzly bear prowling in the Sawmill Flats area. The sign is not unusual. The 160,000 acre region on the Lewis and Clark National Forest is not wilderness and isn’t Park Service land, but it is no less wild.
Six retired Glacier Park superintendents want the Department of Interior to keep it that way. In a letter to the Hungry Horse News and other newspapers across the state, they’re asking the Department of Interior to cancel oil and gas leases in the Badger Two Medicine as an energy company pursues legal action to drill exploratory wells on a 3,000-plus acre tract in Hall Creek.
“Industrial energy development of this world-class resource would represent an intolerable assault to the ecological and cultural values of Glacier National Park, as well as to the Blackfeet people,” the superintendents argue. “On behalf of the millions of visitors who cherish the Crown of the Continent, and on behalf of our colleagues whose careers were spent working for the best interests of Glacier National Park, we ask the Department of Interior to exercise its authority to cancel the Badger-Two Medicine leases.”
Here’s some good news: Following up on their hearings about three weeks ago, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation issued a report stating that the Badger-Two Medicine region is inappropriate for energy development . . .
The Badger-Two Medicine area south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation can’t be drilled for oil and gas development without ruining its cultural and traditional values, according to a report by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
“They recommended cancellation of all the leases in the Badger-Two Medicine,” Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Officer John Murray said Monday afternoon. “We’re grateful there’s hope in this world for people who’ve been marginalized, racially and economically. There’s a lot of hope from what’s in the report.”
The council’s analysis stated drilling plans by Louisiana-based Solenex LLC “would be so damaging to the (Traditional Cultural District) that the Blackfeet Tribe’s ability to practice their religious and cultural traditions in this area as a living part of their community life and development would be lost.”
The feds have decided to make a decision about energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. By November 30, they will either commence to cancel the leases …or not.
This would be funny if the consequences weren’t so serious. Just read the darn article while I go bang my head on my desk . . .
Public land managers have submitted a court-ordered schedule framing the steps they’ll take to either lift a suspension of oil and gas drilling on a prized and culturally sacred landscape adjacent to Glacier National Park or cancel the energy leases outright.
In setting the schedule, federal land managers for the first time are considering the dissolution of energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area as an option to settle a dispute over whether they were granted illegally, as leaders of the Blackfeet Nation contend. The Badger-Two Medicine is home to the Blackfeet creation story and is at the center of a hard-fought legal battle, with the lease-holder calling for the drilling suspension to be lifted on one side and a vast coalition of tribes, conservation groups and Montana politicians urging permanent protection on the other.
The timeline to resolve the decades-old suspension of an energy lease in the Badger-Two Medicine was drafted after a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Justice, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to draft a schedule for the agencies to complete their review.
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.