If you’ve followed the medical marijuana debate in some of Montana’s cities, you’ve heard the excuse that some council members are afraid to move forward on marijuana business guidelines out of fear that they will be sued. Then, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pulled the rug out from under hundreds of oil and gas leases in Montana and the Dakotas after a coalition of environmental groups filed suit, claiming the leases threatened global warming. Due to threat of litigation, BLM eventually conducted an exhaustive study before concluding that oil and gas leases in our region do not significantly contribute to global warming.
We can’t change their business plans, after the fact, if it deals with state ignored drug dealers, but who cares if you just pull the rug out from underneath oil and gas developers who happen to be propping up Montana’s state budget.
The Western Energy Alliance had this to say:
“The environmental analysis completed by BLM shows that even a high estimation of all federal oil and gas emissions in Montana and North and South Dakota represents a negligible amount of greenhouse gases – just 0.022% of the US total,” said Kathleen Sgamma, Western Energy Alliance’s Director of Government Affairs. “BLM was not able to quantify the miniscule fraction of that tiny percentage for the 224 leases in question. Despite that completely insignificant impact, environmental groups compelled BLM to delay job creation, economic activity and American energy development.”
Not that oil development is important to Montana or anything. Oh wait, you must have missed the news that TransCanada has announced plans to ship 100,000 barrels a day out of Montana and North Dakota on their proposed pipeline.