Every well pad disrupts from 5 to 20 acres-

Leaking gas is a potent climate changer. Disrupted soil does not sequester carbon. Native vegetation at the well site is almost impossible to restore. Coalbed methane wells produce huge amounts of saline (generally unreusuable water).

Story by Matthew Brown. Plan approved for gas wells. AP

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

3 Responses to Plan approved for drilling 18,000 gas wells in Montana

  1. JimT says:

    OK, so now we have Montana acting lemming like to Wyoming’s dash off the cliff of CBM exploration. Am I missing something? Did someone discover a Ogallala -like aquifer so this much water can be wasted?

  2. Salle says:

    That would one of those pesky facts that are so commonly overlooked and deemed insignificant in the current regime’s rush to say “FU” as they evacuate DC.


    Says a lot.

  3. Louis Polk says:

    I have to call B.S. on much of this article! Reclamation on sites that have been drilled restores the land back to as good or better than it was.The water coming out of the ground is as pure or purer than the water in the rivers it ends up in.I’ve been in the drilling industry for 20+ years and have seen it advance in ecological concern ten fold. It keeps many people working,which America needs!It will decrease our dependancy on OPEC.Yes there are alternitive sources for energy but do you think 200-300 wind mills on the horizon look any better than a pump jack or drilling rig?We as a country need every bit of energy independance we can get.So quit making the oil and gas industry the bad guy all the time,it heats your house,runs your car,helps in the manufacture of more everyday items than most of you know,remember this next time you think we should stop all drilling.


December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey