Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–April 2, 2013. Today the Center for American Progress released the short documentary video, “Boom Without Boundaries,” which explores the Bakken oil boom’s negative, industrial-scale impacts on Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The film is narrated by Winthrop Roosevelt, great-great grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park—often described as the birthplace of the American conservation movement—is already experiencing the undesirable consequences associated with oil and gas drilling, including disruptions from truck traffic, the sound of diesel-generated pump jacks reverberating in the campgrounds, and the dozens of lights from drilling rigs and cell towers ruining the park’s deep night skies. This is just the beginning, however, as tens of thousands of oil wells are expected to be drilled over the next 20 years. While the Bakken oil boom has brought much-needed jobs to North Dakota, the community would be better served if the oil and gas industry would slow down the breakneck pace of development, especially on public lands, and take measured action to protect the national park’s treasured resources.
“This video is a case study of how the oil and gas industry is winning the race to gain access to America’s public lands,” Christy Goldfuss, Director of CAP’s Public Lands Project, said. “This fight is at the front door of the few places we have set aside for future generations, and in some cases, it has even reached inside the boundaries of our national parks. We must take steps to put conservation on equal ground with drilling on our public lands. Otherwise, we risk losing this truly American idea.”
The encroaching development on Theodore Roosevelt National Park is only one example of how energy development and land conservation are out of balance on our public lands. Over the past four years, the Obama administration has leased two-and-a-half times more acres of public lands to oil and gas companies than it has permanently protected. It’s time for the administration to increase its support for policies that protect and conserve our public lands and national parks for future generations.
Watch the video here.
Read Winthrop Roosevelt’s op-ed here.