Environmentalists have sued a US agency to try to stop it from allowing oil and gas drilling on a vast stretch of federal land in Nevada, where the government is reversing protections put in place 9 months ago under the Obama administration.
In this 9 December 2014 file photo, protesters rally outside the US Bureau of Land Management in Reno, Nevada, during the auction of oil and gas leases for energy exploration that critics say poses a threat to fish, wildlife, and groundwater. Environmentalists filed a lawsuit in Nevada to block an effort to expand oil and gas drilling on federal land. Two national conservation groups say the Bureau of Land Management is reversing course from policies it enacted in the final weeks of the Obama administration. Credit: AP/Scott Sonner.
The Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity say the US Bureau of Land Management illegally failed to consider potential consequences of hydraulic fracturing ranging from harm to the greater sage grouse to contamination of fragile desert water sources and emission of climate-altering greenhouse gases.
The suit filed last week in federal court in Reno seeks an order forcing the bureau to rescind oil drilling leases it sold in June for as low as $2 per acre on three land parcels covering about 9 square miles.
The groups are asking a judge to forbid permits on an additional 103 parcels totaling 296 square miles until the agency complies with the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws they say require a thorough examination of the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing.
“The Trump administration wants to turn public lands into private profits for the fossil fuel industry at the peril of local communities and wildlife,” said Clare Lakewood, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute in Oakland, California.
President Donald Trump has taken other steps to open up federal lands to energy production, including proposals to eliminate national monuments designated by former President Barack Obama.
Patrick Donnelley, the center’s state director in Nevada, said the drilling leases in Nevada mark the first time the Trump administration has reversed a draft proposal by the previous administration to keep some otherwise unprotected lands off limits to drilling. He says the government is flouting environmental rules “to push their oil and gas agenda.”
Hydraulic fracturing has led to a boom in natural gas production but raised widespread concerns about possible groundwater contamination and even earthquakes. The method uses huge amounts of pressurized water, sand, and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from rock formations deep underground.
The lawsuit says it can release carcinogens and other hazardous pollutants into the air and water while emitting massive amounts of methane, a significant driver of climate change.
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
3 - 4 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For a better understanding of geomechanical factors, attend this course
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Don't miss out!
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
This course will help you develop a better understanding of factors that could impact your daily economic decisions as well as establish a new set of applicable tools to use in your professional career.
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.