Tester Praises Permanent Protection of Badger-Two Medicine
Senator Joins Interior Secretary, Blackfeet Tribe, Devon Energy to Celebrate Landmark Decision
(U.S. Senate) - Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after he joined Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Blackfeet Tribal leaders, and Devon Energy to celebrate the cancellation of 15 more oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine:
"There are special places in this world where we just shouldn't drill, and the Badger-Two Medicine is one of those places. This region carries great cultural and historical significance to the Blackfeet Tribe and today's announcement will ensure that the Badger-Two Medicine will remain pristine for both the Tribe and the folks who love to hunt, hike, and fish near Glacier Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness."
Tester joins the Blackfeet tribe, sportsmen, conservationists, and local oil and gas developers in supporting the protection of the Badger Two Medicine.
Tester attended today's signing ceremony in Washington D.C. with Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes, and Devon Energy CEO Dave Hager.
After the Interior Department cancelled the controversial Solonex lease in March, only 17 of the original 47 oil and gas leases that were granted by the federal government in the Badger-Two Medicine remained active. Prior to the cancellation of the Solonex lease, nearly two-thirds of the original leases were voluntarily relinquished.
In 1982, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service granted 47 oil and gas leases. Two years later, a drilling permit was approved on one of the leases, though drilling was stalled when a moratorium was placed on oil and gas drilling in the area.
Tester is the only member of Montana's Congressional delegation to support cancelling the leases. He has long supported protecting the area, and last year he formally called on the Interior Department to cancel the remaining leases in the Badger Two Medicine, citing its importance to the Blackfeet Tribe and Montana's sportsmen and women.
The Badger-Two Medicine area is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.