Protecting our National Parks from Oil Drilling
October 26, 2006
Oil and gas exploration and extraction projects just outside of the boundaries of America’s national parks pose serious threats to the biodiversity, environmental quality, and scenic nature of these regions. Current National Park Service policies allow companies to extract oil and gas resources by drilling at an angle from a surface located outside the park. In the case of Big Thicket National Park, a biologically diverse region that brings together in one geographical location the eastern hardwood forests, the Gulf coastal plains, and the Midwest prairies, close to twenty oil wells have been constructed outside its borders.
In 2004, the Sierra Club took legal action to demand that the Department of Interior take a hard look at the surface impacts that slant drilling and the associated equipment has on the areas just outside of park boundaries. On October 25, 2006 federal Judge John D. Bates vindicated the Club’s position, stating in his decision that the Department of Interior cannot ignore the impacts that oil and gas operations have on the environmentally sensitive regions just outside some of our most scenic and majestic national parks.
Details and Documents:
Victory for Protection of Big Thicket National Preserve
October 27, 2006 Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Press Release
Case Documents:Opinion of Judge John D. Bates
October 25, 2006 United States District Court for the District of Columbia
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.