Anshutz Exploration Corp., an energy exploration company that has been searching for oil and gas on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, has just announced that it would cease drilling and shut down the project. The company notified the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council of its decision on Monday.
The Blackfeet Reservation’s western boundary forms the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park. In 2006, the Blackfoot Tribal Business Council granted oil exploration and fracking leases on the western edge of the reservation to the Denver-Based Anshutz Exploration Corp, owned by Philip Frederick Anshutz, one of the richest men in the nation. Many tribal members are concerned about the impact of Anshultz’s operations on the natural resources, including clean water. Anshutz has refused to conduct a cumulative environmental assessment, something that is of great concern to officials in Glacier National Park and the National Parks Conservation Association.
Opposition to Anshutz and to fracking on the reservation has resulted in the formation of the Blackfeet Anti-Fracking Coalition on Facebook. The Facebook group was started by Destini Vaile, a Blackfeet tribal member who has studied the fracking process and opposed full-field development on the reservation.
More background can be found at: Fracking and Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park:
One of the companies looking at bidding on the concession for Glacier National Park is Xanterra, which currently holds the concession for Yellowstone National Park. Xanterra is owned by Philip Frederick Anshutz who made his fortunes in oil, railroads, telecom, and entertainment. Anshutz purchased Xanterra in 2008.
A petition opposing Xanterra’s bid for the park concessions can be found at signon.org.
For more background on the petition see: Glacier National Park Concessions (updated)
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