Powder River Basin Resource Council’s new video series gives an intimate look at the effects of oil and gas extraction on Wyoming communities.
Wyoming residents have long found themselves in the cross-hairs of energy extraction. The recent drilling boom has brought drilling rigs right into residential developments. Powder River Basin Resource Council has released a new series of videos featuring Wyoming residents whose lives have been upended by nearby oil and gas development. From living with the legacy of contaminated groundwater in Pavillion to addressing booming oil and gas development in Laramie and Converse Counties, the videos examine the human cost of development.
“We homeowners shouldn’t be simply disregarded as collateral damage by the oil and gas companies, as well as the state.”
“Because now there is oil and gas drilling so close to my home, my property value has plummeted. You work hard for something, and then this happens,” said Robin Arquilla, whose home is now surrounded by oil and gas development near Cheyenne. “I expect to be compensated for my decreased property value, and the inconvenience of relocation due to the close proximity of the rigs and wells. We homeowners shouldn’t be simply disregarded as collateral damage by the oil and gas companies, as well as the state.”
In Pavillion, residents and landowners are frustrated by their lack of clean drinking water, a frustration compounded by the state’s failure to find a permanent solution decades after the problem began. In Eastern Wyoming, an oil and gas boom has brought drilling very close to quiet neighborhoods where people built homes to invest in their futures. Now with their quality of life dramatically diminished, many residents are asking why industry interests are being favored over those of Wyoming people who have lived in these areas for years.
“Right here in Wyoming people are losing their investment in their homes and businesses because their air and water quality are being ruined, and no one is doing anything about it.”
“Wyoming is a freedom-loving state, but there are people losing their freedom every day. Right here in Wyoming people are losing their investment in their homes and businesses because their air and water quality are being ruined, and no one is doing anything about it. We need some common sense in the siting of these industrial developments so that they will no longer be a threat to people’s air, water, health and well-being. It goes way beyond noise, dust, road destruction, and property damage,” said Wayne Lax, who lives in Cheyenne and has seen the drilling increase in many neighborhoods.
The Resource Council has released several videos in the series so far, and will release a new video every two weeks. The videos are only a few minutes long and are released through the organization’s social media channels but also hosted on the organization’s website and YouTube channel.