Oil & Gas

Addressing & Preventing Impacts from Oil & Gas Development

No other industrial activity impacts citizens in Wyoming like oil and gas development. Oil & gas fields occur throughout the state. Hundreds of wells get approved each month by the Oil & Gas Commission, the Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies.

In addition to our work specific to coalbed methane, Powder River works to address and prevent impacts from all types of oil and gas development. We work on policy initiatives, promote regulatory changes, and collaborate with federal and state agencies to improve industry practices. Specifically, we have been involved in a coalition of organizations working to rollback the "Halliburton Loophole" passed in the 2005 Energy Policy Act that exempts an industry practice called hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Powder River also advocates for full disclosure of all chemical constituents used in drilling and fracking. We have also advocated for improvements in industry practices to prevent and reduce impacts to wildlife habitat, including habitat for the greater sage-grouse and big game, reduce air pollution from drilling, fracking, and other industry processes, improve reclamation practices and clean-up old oil and gas fields, protect sources of water used for home and agricultural use, and minimize impacts to public health and local landowners. Powder River has led the effort to reform split estate laws and regulations at the national and state levels and prioritizes protection of people and private property over the short-term economic gains of industry.

We also work directly with citizens in impacted communities, such as Pavillion and Clark, WY, to help them address water and air contamination.