Roan Plateau: Will There Be Anything Left For Tomorrow?
Wouldn’t you think that most of the people in the Bush Adminstration and its government agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, those at the oil and gas companies, and the folks in the state government like the Department of Natural Resources, have children or even grandchildren?
Wouldn’t you think that all the officials who said “sure, we should drill gas wells” on the Roan Plateau would consider their family’s future? First, to leave some wild areas left untouched for the next generations. And second, to leave some natural gas and oil in the ground so that their children would have a chance to better extract natural resources in sensitive ecological areas.
But, nooo-oooo. Damn the deer herd. Damn the unique fauna. Damn the cutthroat trout. Damn what locals, municipalities and the thousands of others have said: “No drilling.”
The BLM said in its press release on Thursday:
“…Habitat fragmentation and surface disturbance would further be minimized on top of the Plateau through a federal unit agreement in which one operator would conduct all development activities on behalf of all lease holders. This allows BLM to tightly control the timing and location of development and eliminates the need for duplicative facilities.
Development would be limited to the higher ridges away from the ecologically sensitive canyons and streams. It would be staged so that no more than one percent of the 34,758 acres on top of the Plateau would be disturbed at any one time. Wells would be clustered on multi-well
pads not closer than one-half mile apart, with a maximum surface density of one pad per 160 acres….”
A couple of problems:
-Drilling will continue for at least 20 years
-Only about 21,000 acres out of almost 75,000 will be protected
-Almost 50% of the land can have surface occupancy from well development
-Cluster wells on multi-well pads can be as close as a
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