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Hi,

A federal appeals court ruled last month that oil and gas companies can begin drilling in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. The ruling says that the government only controls the surface rights in the national forest, not the mineral rights under the surface.

While the ruling only affects the Allegheny National Forest, this could set the stage for opening up drilling in ALL National Forests.

This means they start drilling immediately unless we act now.

There are two ways we can stop this:

1) The Obama Justice Department must appeal this ruling and ask for an injunction to halt drilling; and
2) Congress must pass legislation to stop drilling in all National Forests.

So I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate and President Barack Obama, which says:

"We urge you to do everything in your power to stop oil and natural gas drilling in our National Forests."

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name

SignOn.org Beta
 

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since 4/10/2009
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the whole purpose of national forests is for "multiple uses". And mineral extraction was one of the original intended uses. Recreation wasn't added until later.

the national forests in my neck of the woods (Texas) are already dotted with oil/gas wells.
 

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The drilling isn't going to turn the national forest into a wasteland, there are many environmental regulations that require drilling to be done with very little if any impact to the surrounding area. I'm all for preserving the environment but when going to the extremes by not allowing any form of construction, or exploration or extraction of natural resources, to me that is hindering the evolution and spirit America. This country was founded on exploration and construction, and when we try to stop projects like this, it leads to dependency on foreign oil which hinders job growth and creates higher prices for us.
 

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A few more trails to ride and more home-grown energy, less importing? Sounds like a win-win to me.

Just make sure the horse enthusiasts do not co-op the new trails for their exclusivity.
 

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Kinda reminds me of a jobsite I was working on in the Santa Clarita Valley (California). All of our heavy equipment was vandalized by environmentalists. They put dirt in our fuel tanks, engine crankcases, and hydro tanks. They said we were "ruining" the habitats in the Santa Clara river, and building ugly houses. I'd be willing to bet that each and every one of those environmentalists live in a house that's no better looking than any of the homes in the new development. They kick, scream and cry until it's time to put gas in their car, or live in a home built out of trees from a forest, or drink water that very well could have come from a resivior that was created by damming up a river.
 

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Drill baby drill, one of my favorite trails has an oil rig pumping on it. Beats buying oil from foreigners when we have untapped reserves of our own in my book anyday.
 

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Drill away. I live in the heart of WV coal country, and the tree huggers are always making a nuisance of themselves. Most times they even put the safety and lives of others at risk to accomplish their own personal goals.
 

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The OP and the rest of you "drill baby drill" crowd are all missing the mark on either side of the issue. Public lands are intended to be used in a matter that allows resource extraction, provides recreational opportunities, protects watersheds (and thus conserving and supplying water for consumption, agriculture and industry) and to protect and provide habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, the rules, regulations and laws -local, state and federal- are usually not stringent enough, are ignored, or increasingly, are rescinded by industry lobbying of pro-business politicians.

The oil and gas industry, striving to produce a product for as cheaply as possible, have successfully lobbied for weakened regulations and have taken away the power of the local stakeholders to have any input on the regulations where they live. Because of this, the amount of damage done to land, (both private and public) water and air is significantly worse than the industry could do if they used their best technologies and BMP's. As an example, where I'm from habitat has been needlessly fragmented because the industry is resistant to directional drilling since the technology is more expensive then building many more miles of road and many more acres of drill pad (seems counter-intuitive, but it's true). Add the all-to-common issues that are more frequently being reported around drilling areas -surface stream water contamination, gas in residential well water, lowering of water tables, un-lined waste water ponds, fracking fluid spills, etc- and it should be clear to all but the biggest oil and gas shill that the industry has some very serious environmental issues.

As for trails, where I would ride in the winter (the only winter rides within an hour of Durango are near Aztec and Farmington NM, prime O and G territory) many trails have been obliterated by road and well pad construction and on some trails it is hard to escape the sting of chemical odors and the sounds of compressors, not to mention the sh*t-your-pants near misses with rig service trucks hauling ass on narrow dirt roads. The impacts -and lack of surface owner rights- on private land is an entirely different can of worms I won't get into here. Thus the oil and gas industry is able to explore and produce massive profits on public land with little oversight -and with very little paid for the rights to "public" resources- and in a manner that can, and often does cause significant environmental damage.

So yes, we need the resources and we should use them, but there needs to be some accountability -which is now sorely lacking in most places- to insure that we don't also damage the many other valuable attributes that are provided by public lands. We have the technology and knowledge to access our oil and gas. To block it completely is shortsighted and unrealistic; to support it unconditionally is no different.

Here are a few aerial shots of the damage oil and gas can do. The first is Pinedale, Wyoming and happens to be where the biggest mammal migration in North America ends and the Antelope involved traditionally winter, along with many of the deer of the Wind River Range. The second is along the Colorado River near Rifle, Colorado and there a lot of water contamination issues and surface gas leakage in this area (a lot of it is private land, and surface rights owners can't legally keep drilling rigs off of their lands).
The last is in Pennsylvania and the same habitat fragmentation visible in dryer areas is visible here. I doubt anyone could look at these and say that there is no impact from oil and gas extraction.

Before you guys pile on with the neg rep (a game I don't play), make sure you read what I've written... There do exist ways to extract our resources with less impacts. We (as Americans) need to find the will to make it happen.
 

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My spelling is atroshus
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Oil is used in everything. I think it is an absolute absurdity that the same people that love their iPads,computers, droids and all the latest medical technology can't be bothered with the thought of an oil well. They willingly embrace the science, but just can't stomach the industrialism required to bring them all of their goodies.
 

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What you're saying makes sense, huntermos. The technology does exist to continue resource extraction in acceptable areas without nearly the impact visible in the photos you post. The oil companies could make much better use out of a single pad.

But the petition posted above isn't addressing that. It's an all-or-nothing post like the drill-baby-drill posts you decry.

I was a USFS employee for awhile and I got pissed off by the logging trucks and service vehicles hauling ass at unsafe speeds on narrow dirt roads. That **** needs to be addressed.
 

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But the petition posted above isn't addressing that. It's an all-or-nothing post like the drill-baby-drill posts you decry.
Ah, but I did decry the OP's call as well!;)

It's not just the speed, it the attitudes of some of those guys (some, not all...) I swear that they speed up when they see us. More dust and more gravel flying at us as we frantically dodge into the ditch!
 

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Huntermos, you make a very good point. The fact is that a lot of the regulation, then deregulation, followed by poor oversight and careless drilling practices are mostly brought upon by politicians and their selfish reputations. There must be accountability for any action taken but there usualy isn't in that industry, which is a shame. I'm personally all for the exploration, and drilling, but I do believe it needs to be done correctly. However it would be very naive to think we should not do anything at all as the op suggests. And coming from the construction industry, I will say that we DO take care not to disturb areas if we don't need to.
 
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