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Bozeman Pass Reg Comments 06

Dear Commissioners,

On behalf of the Oil & Gas Accountability Project and the members that we represent, thank you for the opportunity to support the Bozeman Pass Zoning Regulation and provide comments.

The Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) works with communities throughout the United States and Canada to prevent and reduce the devastating environmental, social and fiscal impacts of irresponsible oil and gas development. Since our founding in 1999, OGAP has worked with oil and gas-field communities throughout the Western region of the U.S. to address oil and gas issues on the federal, tribal, state and local levels. OGAP has offices in Montana, Colorado and Washington, D.C., and our expertise in local oil and gas regulations includes working with counties, municipalities and citizens groups in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Here in the Rocky Mountains, we are in the midst of a coalbed methane boom. The challenge facing many western communities like Gallatin County now is not whether to increase coalbed methane or other gas and oil production energy companies are already on a record-setting pace as the price of gas rises and development accelerates on our public and private lands. The challenge facing us today, rather, is how best to protect our clean water, air and soil, public health, heritage and communities in the face of this rapid energy development pressure.

In OGAP s experience, local oil and gas regulations have proven to be one of the most effective tools for communities across the U.S. to ensure that oil and gas activity occurs responsibly. We urge the Planning and Zoning Commission to move as quickly as possible to put into effect the Bozeman Pass Zoning Regulation, as drafted on June 1. 2005.

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