Converse County Oil & Gas Drilling

Converse County Oil & Gas Drilling

Current Status:

Case Title:
Case 1:22-cv-2696

Staff attorney(s):
Sarah Stellberg
Hannah (Clements) Goldblatt


Powder River Basin Resource Council

Western Watersheds Project

To Protect:

Air Quality


Raptor Populations

National Parks

Nearby Communities


Case Information:

September 7, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management targeting the Converse County Oil &  Gas Project in the southern Powder River Basin of Wyoming.

The massive 5,000 oil well project, approved under the Trump administration, is projected to have a major impact on air quality locally and regionally, including in treasured landscapes of neighboring national parks. The Delaware-sized industrial project will also create irreversible negative impacts to wildlife through special exemptions from traditional habitat protection measures. Overall, the project threatens the survival of sage grouse and birds of prey throughout the project area.

A key claim in the lawsuit challenges the Bureau’s refusal to regulate “Fee/Fee/Fed” wells in the project area, which are wells that drill directionally into federal minerals from adjacent non-federal lands. This illegal Bureau practice allows fossil fuel companies to extract publicly-owned minerals without common-sense environmental protections. The Converse County project consists predominantly of Fee/Fee/Fed wells.

Case Filings