Oil & Gas eyes your public lands

With increasing fuel prices, the oil and gas industry is chomping at the bit to get at vast oil and gas reserves on your public lands.

Oil and Gas on Public Lands Off-Limits to ExplorationENN

Report Offers Road Map for Energy Relief [Bush’s] BLM

With climate change, mining, livestock grazing, timber, exotic species and other uses and abuses of our public lands that wildlife and wildlife habitat has endured over the past century this industry may already have a problem… among others.

Are energy reserves that may or may not be accessible on your public lands worth the cost to wildlife, our environmental heritage, our children’s environmental trust ?  Is $4/gallon gas the problem ?  Is domestic extraction of fossil fuels on public lands the solution ?

It seems to me that all of these symptoms might be pointing to a deeper problem.

Update 5/24/08 – Cost of Drilling : Wells threaten tourism, hunting, and natural beauty – Salt Lake Tribune Editorial




  1. Nathan Avatar

    the green industry has implications on idaho as well we are about to lose one of my favorite places near Idaho Falls..wolverine canyon to 150 wind turbines…whats worse is they are being built on agriculturally zoned land..setting a precedent for them to be built anywhere…the current towers above idaho falls can be seen from rexburg and have closed off massive amounts of space to any use from the public…weve got to do something!

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Nathan, as you’re probably aware – there are good capable people working on challenging that from what i understand.

    the giant wind industry is no different in fragmenting lands and wildlife habitat. they call it ‘green’ then put it on critical wildlife habitats on public lands.

  3. Russell Williams Avatar
    Russell Williams

    “Public lands have a significant role to play in meeting our domestic energy needs securely and affordably,” said BLM Director Jim Caswell. “Current technology allows us to develop energy resources without adversely impacting the environment or permanently diminishing other non-energy resources found on public lands.”

    “With the means to make energy development a temporary use of the land, we don’t have to choose between energy security and healthy lands,” Caswell said.

    Lies, lies and more lies. I would rather see a regulated environment imposed on the oil companies before any more of our land is destroyed. And we all know how bad the government is at running things. I know the sights and smells of the oil industry because I currently live in Southeast New Mexico. I have also attempted a drive through the Great Divide Basin only to be turned back by the stench of the oil and natural gas industry. I have driven through Fruita and Grand Junction Colorado before the oil and gas industry started destroying the valley. I visited later as the damage was being done. What a shame!

    In my opinion we have to draw the line on this issue. I’m all for fighting for an individual species of wildlife but this issue crosses into the total destruction of an ecosystem. No matter what the losers running these government agencies might say.

  4. Monty Avatar

    Brian Ertz, yes there is a deeper problem. It’s based on the ideology that it is possible to “breed, consume and exhaust” our way into an “earthly paradise”. In the foreseeable future, there is no possiblity of stopping, slowing down or mitgating this “perpetual growth machine”. We are–like the frog in the pot of water on the stove–unaware that we are boiling ourselves to death.
    Why is it that the vast, vast majority of American’s fail to acknowledge and deal with this issue? I wish I knew.

  5. Brian Ertz Avatar

    I just posted an update – a Salt Lake Tribune Editorial — it doesn’t get to the deeper issue that you and I care about, but I think that this conversation is beginning to emerge.

    I think it’s up to us that acknowledge and care to make those moves for the future. The machine is big and is fueled by a primal greed/unsatiable thirst — but i have to believe that there are other primal human motivators that we can stoke – compassion, humility, extension of our notion of “community” to include the natural world.

    i think we’re emerging out of the darkest period – at least i think there’s that potential if enough of us speak loud enough and are able to draw that critical connection to the consequences of this unsustainable model.

  6. Salle Avatar

    I think that it requires a serious cultural shift in thinking, acting, believing. Unless that takes place, no change of significance will take place until catastrophe takes place and we all have to adapt to whatever the changes leave us with, if we survive. And I mean the inhabitants of this country, we are the most offensively greedy culture on the planet and for some foolish reason we think that everybody should want to be like us and that we have some self appointed authority on how everybody on the planet should live, think and behave.

    And furthermore,

    We aren’t going to destroy or save the planet, it will do just fine without us… It’s he biosphere we are destroying. That portion of the planet that interacts in such a way that we can exist within it. Once we go past the tipping point where it can no longer support us, it is similar to piercing the yolk of an egg, you can’t ever get the yellow goo back inside.

  7. JB Avatar

    I think it says something about how far we’ve come that there hasn’t been a huge public outcry to tap US oil in places like ANWR despite the $4 gasoline. We HAVE had a shift in thinking, now we need a shift at the political level.

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Brian Ertz