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

Northern Plains member protecting the Yellowstone and milk rivers

New Lawsuit Intends to Continue Protecting the Yellowstone and Milk Rivers from KXL

Northern Plains Resource Council members are committed to the long game on Keystone XL. Adapted from Northern Plains Resource Council’s newsletter. Subscribe to WORC's blog!…

abandoned oil well in the rocky mountain west

Newly Empowered Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Still Lacks the Power to Stop Well Abandonment

Heralded as a new era in Colorado’s regulation of oil and gas, a recent bankruptcy shows that times have yet to change. Subscribe to WORC's…

Iconic Wyoming Reservoir Endangered By Produced Water From Oil and Gas Development

Citizen Efforts Force Public Hearings over Wastewater Dumping into Boysen Reservoir. Above: Wind River flows toward Boysen Lake, one of the most scenic lakes in…