WIRT Comments on Alta Mesa Revised Smoke Ranch 1-20 Drilling Permit 12-7-14
The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) again dismissed Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) comments on a pending Alta Mesa drilling permit and once more did not post these WIRT comments to the IDL website. Despite the apparent hopelessness of the situation, we worked as diligently as possible to comment and further delay construction of the Smoke Ranch 1-20 oil and gas well a few hundred feet from the Payette River. According to the IDL website, Alta Mesa is currently DRILLING this 4000-foot-deep floodplain intrusion, imposing grave risks on Idahoans and their potentially polluted drinking water supplies, nearby wildlife refuges, agricultural production and reliant economies, and recreational uses of the Payette River and downstream Snake River and Hells Canyon. THANKS to Joe Morton, the Idaho Conservation League, and everyone who commented before both deadlines. As one of only a few participants in the extended comment period, we can attest that this well will offer few benefits to Idahoans, especially when the power of heavy, frequent floods scour the well pad and tree, located closer to the Payette River and wildlife refuge islands to the southeast than marked in this map. See our linked comments and the December 7 WIRT Newsletter.
I’m thinking of relocating to Idaho, because of the tight rock gas and oil development in Colorado. The county I live in has over 22,000 wells. Is it any better in Idaho? Near Boise?
The most aggressive gas and oil development in Idaho, about 50 miles northwest of Boise in Payette County, started in 2009. Several companies have drilled only about 20 wells, built or proposed two processing plants, and buried miles of gathering lines since then, while the Idaho legislature, affected counties, and state regulatory agencies have instituted and ignored dozens of industry-influenced (if not -written) laws and rules. Eighteen wells is a long way from 22,000, and there is still enough time and interest to slow oil and gas inroads to a crawl, especially in conjunction with reduced oil prices. Please come and join statewide resistance to this government-facilitated, fossil fuel onslaught.