Concerns mount over oil exploration near Glacier Park
Written byCHRIS PETERSON, Hungry Horse News
Concerns are mounting on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation about the impacts of oil and gas exploration on the reservation, particularly wells that could be close to Glacier National Park.
Two wells could be drilled at the doorstep of the Park, explained Lori New Breast. New Breast claimed a well is planned near Divide Peak, just on the border of the Park near St. Mary. Another is planned off Chief Mountain Road, close to the Park’s northeast border. A spokesman for the tribe’s oil and gas department disputes that claim and says there are no plans for wells in either location.
Critics, however, say there is little public notice when an exploratory well is drilled. Most go through an environmental assessment, which is a short-form environmental review. If the well is on private lands, the state oversees the drilling, and the review is even more cursory.
New Breast and other Blackfeet women are calling for a cumulative environmental impact statement that would scrutinize further energy development on the reservation.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE