Gas or Grouse

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OVERALL Questar corporation is an energy company with asset valued at about $4 billion which is the main developer of the gas wells arround the Pinedale Mesa, an area that is famous at the gateway to the hunting, fishing, and hiking treasures. Ocassionally elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and other wild life, including the imperiled greater sage grouse, descent from their habitats atop the mesa and gingerly make their way around and between the questar wells around Pinedale. Not suprisingly, environmentalist are at war with questar, whose expanding operations are increasingly encroaching on the wild life habitats that lies atop the mesa. Yet the natural gas that questar pumps up from beneath the mesa is a desperately needed resource that provides the nation with clean and cheap source energy. CHRONOLOGICAL €It was not until the mid 1990s industry developed techniques for fracturing the sandstone and freeing the gas €In1998, Questar Corporation drilled its first succesful test wall on the Pinedale Mesa. Before, it was not feasible because the gas was trapped in tightly packed sandstone that prevented it from flowing to the wells and no one knew how to get it out. €Inmid-2000, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved drilling up to 900 wells on federal lands sitting on a top of the Pinedale Mesa. €By thebeginn in g of 2004 , Questar had drilled 76 wells on the 14,800 acres it leased from the federal government and had plans to eventually drill at least 400 more wells. €InMay2004 , the U.S and Wildlife Service announced that it would begin the process of studying whether the sage grouse should be categorized as an endangered species. Questar opposed, because once this was done, large areas of federal land would be off-limits to drilling, mining and development. 80% of Wyoming is considered sage grouse habitat, including much of Pinedale Mesa. €The BLM required Questar to cease all drilling operationson the mesa each winter from November 15 to May to protect the...
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