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Bighorn Audubon is one of  30 Western Organizations Urging Director Stone-Manning to Promulgate a Strong Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Bonding Program


For Immediate Release: March 1, 2023
Eric Warren, Western Organization of Resource Councils, (207) 272-9002,


Westerners call on Bureau of Land Management to update
federal onshore oil and gas bond amounts

Billings, Mont. – Today, thirty western grassroots and advocacy groups sent a letter to Bureau of
Land Management (BLM)
Director Tracy Stone-Manning urging her agency to update the
Bureau’s federal onshore oil and gas bonding program. Impacted communities and split-estate
landowners throughout the West are ready to see BLM take expedient action to update the
program, which hasn’t been updated in over six decades–even as costs to reclaim today’s far
deeper and more complex wells have skyrocketed. According to GAO analysis, at least 99.5%
of federal wells carry bonds that are insufficient to cover the cost of reclamation. Currently, the
responsibility of plugging and reclaiming oil and gas wells falls on communities, landowners,
and taxpayers. Organizations throughout the West have seen this issue play out first hand;
when oil and gas wells are not properly plugged and reclaimed, local communities bear the
brunt of contaminated soil, groundwater, and air.

Powder River Basin Resource Council leader Jill Morrison said, “American taxpayers have
spent billions of dollars over six decades to clean up after the oil and gas industry, one of the
richest industries on Earth. Today, we are calling on the Bureau of Land Management to
implement full bonding requirements that ensure oil and gas operations pay for the reclamation
and plugging of oil and gas wells that they drill and produce on public and private land overlying
federal minerals. American taxpayers must finally stop subsidizing oil and gas corporations, and
it’s long overdue for BLM to create standards that ensure full cleanup and reclamation of federal

Anne Hedges, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs at Montana Environmental
Information Center said, "It's time to protect taxpayers from the environmental harm caused by
oil and gas extraction. BLM should update its rules to protect the public and the environment
from an industry with a poor track record. Better rules on bonding will incentivize more
responsible extraction and ensure that water and public lands are protected."


The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is a network of grassroots organizations that
span seven Western states with more than 18,000 members. Many WORC members live on lands
overlying and neighboring federal, tribal, state and privately owned oil and gas deposits, and experience
numerous impacts due to federal oil and gas production. Headquartered in Billings, Montana, WORC also
has offices in Colorado and Washington, D.C.

The Powder River Basin Resource Council, founded in 1973, is a family agriculture and conservation
organization in Wyoming. Resource Council members are family farmers and ranchers and concerned
citizens who are committed to conservation of our unique land, mineral, water, and clean air resources.

Click here READ the LETTER to:

Tracy Stone-Manning

Director of Bureau of Land Management

1849 C Street NW Washington, D.C. 20240


RE: 30 Western Organizations Urge Director Stone-Manning to Promulgate a Strong Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Bonding Program

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