FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2016
Lisa DeVille, Dakota Resource Council board member, WORC board member, (701) 421-8020
Nicole Donaghy, Dakota Resource Council staff, (701) 202-0927
Sara Kendall, WORC DC Director, (202) 547-7040
Kevin Dowling, WORC Communications Director, (406) 252-9672
Lisa DeVille, a board member of Dakota Resource Council (DRC) and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and a resident of Fort Berthold Reservation, is meeting with Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Representative Kevin Cramer to share her experience dealing with the Bakken oil and gas development and her perspective on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed methane waste prevention rule for public and tribal lands.
The Fort Berthold Reservation contains about 1,500 oil and gas wells. “Many of those are flaring 24-7, which means that you can see gas flares in every direction you look,” DeVille said. “They sound like the roaring of a jet engine, and they can light up the night sky as bright as day. And this is gas that could be used to heat thousands of homes. It’s so strange. They just treat it like a byproduct.”
The BLM’s rule would require oil and gas operators to reduce the amount of natural gas that they flare, vent, or leak on public and tribal lands. The companies would have to capture and market methane emissions. In 2013 alone, the amount of natural gas wasted through flaring, venting, or leaks on public and tribal lands could have heated the cities of Dallas and Denver, combined, for an entire year.
“I’m just someone who knows we have a human right to clean air, clean land, and clean water,” DeVille said. “So I want stricter laws, and I want stricter enforcement from the Bureau of Land Management. I want stronger inspections, rules, and regulations. The industry needs to take care of what’s happened.”
DeVille is among the residents featured in Living with Oil and Gas, a new social media project sponsored by WORC that tells the stories of directly impacted individuals, in their own words, from the heart of the Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota, to the natural gas fields and frontline communities of eastern Wyoming and Colorado’s Western Slope.
The Senate Public Lands and Mining Subcommittee is holding a hearing on the BLM’s proposed methane rules on Thursday.
The BLM is taking comments on its proposed rule through April 22.
DRC was formed in 1978 to protect North Dakota’s land, air, water, rural communities and agricultural economy.
WORC is a seven-state network of grassroots community organizations working to shape energy policy and strengthen communities.
Note to editor: Lisa DeVille is available for telephone interviews (701-421-8020) while she is in Washington and after her return to North Dakota April 14.