Wyoming's Powder River Basin is experiencing the largest mineral boom in Wyoming history. Coalbed methane (CBM) gas development in the Powder River Basin has been characterized by industry as the "hottest natural gas play" in North America, making CBM development the greatest environmental and cultural threat Wyoming has faced in decades.
This "gold rush" style pursuit of CBM is presenting enormous challenges for urban and rural citizens, ranchers and farmers, and impacted municipalities.
The Powder River Basin Resource Council has responded by providing landowners with information on how to protect their property through surface access and damage agreements (See Help for Surface Owners).
We have joined forces with other groups and landowners to oppose the damaging discharge of billions of gallons of water. EPA is now requiring additional evidence and signatures from landowners to ensure that discharges are truly beneficial.
Our appeal of discharge permits has halted the discharge of any new water into the Powder River drainage or the Tongue River drainage. Industry's "quick fix" solution has been to build large waste pits to store the water can lead to salt and sediment buildup, potential contamination of shallow aquifers and acreage out of production.
See C-Span Book TV Oct. 2, 2004. Bushwacked: Life in George W. Bush's America. Chapter: "Dick, Dubya, and Wyoming Methane." (152)