The latest evidence on harms to wildlife from oil and gas drilling

I blog periodically about the threats to wildlife populations from oil and gas drilling, across the country, from east to west. The evidence about these threats continues to mount. Here is the latest:

  • The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) recently issued a very comprehensive report about mule deer populations in the Green River Basin of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. TRCP found that mule deer herds are declining, with habitat fragmentation and destruction from industrial development a significant contributing factor. TRCP also found that federal officials granted 83% of industry requests to waive mule deer protections in an 18-month period in Utah.
  • The Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance (BMSA) issued an extremely alarming report on oil and gas spills in western Colorado. BMSA found that in only three counties there were 992 oil and gas spills reported from 2001 to 2010, releasing least 5.6 million gallons of industrial waste, oil and other fluids. This is in some of the most prized areas for hunting and fishing due to wildlife populations that have been strong, but are now threatened. And those are only the spills reported. BMSA found that at least 49 percent of the spills were caused by faulty equipment, and at least 23 percent by human error. Meaning that all or most could have been prevented. 
  • The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation (SAMC) has found that current state and local policies governing natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale do not adequately protect valuable and irreplaceable natural resources, including clean water and critical habitat for fish and wildlife. The SAMC is holding the Sportsmen Marcellus Shale Summit this Saturday in Johnstown in western Pennsylvania to provide sportsmen and women with an opportunity to learn about potential impacts and discuss ways in which these impacts can be prevented or mitigated.