The Fight Over Coalbed Methane Drilling

While Wyoming’s Powder River Basin is ground zero for the growing battle over coalbed methane drilling, the conflict is causing flare-ups from Montana to New Mexico.

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Coverage from Mother Jones and High Country News

A Rural Flare-Up
By Rebecca Clarren
November 4, 2002
Throughout the Intermountain West, plans for coalbed methane development on private land are pitting county officials against state regulators, and rural residents against the gas industry.

The New Range Wars
By Verlyn Klinkenborg
November/December 2002
They come on your land and take what lies beneath. In Wyoming’s coalbed methane country, it’s the ranchers versus the wildcatters.

Open Season on Open Spaces
By Bob Burtman
July/August 2002
The Bush administration has made energy development on public lands its priority number one. The wild West will never be the same.

Ten Regions at Risk
July 3, 2002

From the high alpine valleys of Montana to the border grasslands of New Mexico, the energy rush is on. We review how the Bush administration’s plans for accelerating energy production in the west is threatening ten wilderness areas.

More coverage of coalbed methane drilling from High Country News

Local governments tackle an in-your-face rush on coalbed methane
By Ray Ring
September 2, 2002
For people worried about coalbed methane development on private lands, local governments seem to be the only line of defense.

Land board says, ‘Look before you lease’
By Adam Burke

May 13, 2002
The rush to develop methane on Wyoming’s public lands has hit a regulatory speed bump of undetermined size.

Montana gets a crash course in methane
By Hal Clifford
November 5, 2001
The Powder River Basin doesn’t end at the Wyoming state line; about one-third of the sprawling basin lies in Montana.

Colliding forces: Has Colorado’s oil and gas industry met its match?
By Rebecca Clarren
September 25, 2000
The majority of Colorado’s 70,000-plus oil and gas wells are in rural counties where real estate development is burgeoning.

Special Report: Coalbed Methane Boom

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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