oil and gas development

Giving oilfield communities a voice in decisions that affect their land, water, and health.

We are farmers, ranchers, and residents of the Mountain West and Great Plains. We know intimately and care deeply, for our land, water, and air. While oil and gas royalties have helped pay for our schools, streets, and safety net, we recognize that this is a one-time harvest. The extraction of this harvest has consequences for our health and the environment. We are organizing toward a safer, more responsible oil and gas industry that’s accountable to the externalized costs of production and prosperity that renews like a field planted year after year.

WORC and its member groups in Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming are organizing local communities to have a strong voice in development. We’re working to end the unnecessary waste of natural resources from flaring, venting, and leaking of natural gas. We’re also addressing the growing crisis of orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells and infrastructure that threaten clean water and farmland. WORC members are fighting to ensure the safe and responsible disposal of radioactive oilfield waste and wastewater. 

While the oil and gas industry has irreversibly shaped our economies and communities across the West, WORC and our member groups have successfully led efforts to reform laws and rules in both in our states as well as at the national level including:

  • Winning and defending strong federal rules on methane waste at the Bureau of Land Management and EPA
  • Stronger state rules on venting and flaring, bonding and reclamation, setbacks, and more
  • A series of GAO reports exposing massive liability to taxpayers from inadequate bonding for oil and gas operations
  • Demanding rigorous environmental and health impact reviews which landowners deserve for large scale oil and gas projects, and defending the right to do so

Never miss an opportunity to make the West a healthier and more sustainable place to call home.

News from Oil and Gas

land ownership and minerals

Split Estate Leaves People Living Near Mineral Deposits at the Mercy of Energy Companies

It’s time to reform the laws that impact western homes, farms, and ranches when it comes to fossil fuel development. Subscribe to WORC's blog! Dawn…

hydrogeologist studying impacts of natural gas

Working for Accountability in the Pavillion Water Crisis

Hydrogeologist Mike Wireman works with Powder River Basin Resource Council and Pavillion citizens to find a secure water source This story is part of WORC's…

oil and gas facility

Grassroots Organizing in Colorado Wins Historic Public Health and Safety Protections

Western Colorado Alliance wins in their decades-long fight for protections from harms by the oil and gas industry. Adapted from Western Colorado Alliance’s Clarion newsletter.…