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

News from Oil and Gas

oilfield waste contaminates groundwater in montana

Groundwater Contamination Near Montana Radioactive Oilfield Waste Dump Inspires Outrage Among Community Members

Northern Plains Members Demand Accountability For Weak Radioactive Oil Waste Disposal Rules Above: Oilfield workers remove discarded filter socks which get contaminated by radioactive materials…

abandoned oil well

Federal Response to Oil and Gas Bonding Leading Toward an Orphaned Well Crisis

In opposition to national “Energy Dominance,” policies, most Western states work to strengthen oil and gas bonding standards. Subscribe to WORC's blog! Federal oil and…

exxon valdez oil spill

Did North Dakota Regulators Hide an Oil and Gas Industry Spill Larger Than Exxon Valdez?

DRC members describe how regulation really gets done in North Dakota and why the status quo needs to change. By Justin Nobel for DeSmog. Originally…