Tester urges Interior to fight drilling next to Glacier park
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is urging the Interior Department to continue its fight against energy development on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native Americans, after the government dropped a court appeal in the matter.
In a letter released Friday, the Democratic lawmaker accused Interior Sec. David Bernhardt of undermining the Blackfeet Nation’s attempts to prevent drilling in the Badger Two-Medicine area.
The 10-square-mile (26-square-kilometer) area bordering Glacier National Park is the site of the Blackfeet creation story. Most oil and gas leases in the area, issued decades ago, have since been cancelled by federal officials.
But under Bernhardt, officials last month reversed course and dropped the government’s appeal of one of two leases that were still in dispute. Agency officials have declined to explain the move.