Category Archives: Property Value


How 3,500 Voters in North Dakota Could Put the Brakes on America’s Biggest Fracking Boom

The run-up to tomorrow’s midterm elections has seen an unprecedented spending surge from environmental groups. Climate and energy issues—from fracking in Colorado to coal mining in Kentucky—have taken center stage. But a far less prominent political fight in North Dakota is poised to have an outsized impact on America’s biggest oil boom.

The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, on the shores of Lake Sakakawea in the northwest part of the state, is home to roughly half of the 14,000 members of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. The community sits atop roughly one-third of an immense treasure-trove: The Bakken Shale, the oil formation that is home to North Dakota’s ongoing fracking boom. Tomorrow, MHA Nation members will head to the polls to elect a new chairman Continue reading


What It’s Like To Have 30 Oil & Gas Wells As Neighbors

The first thing Don Martin asks me is if I want the little picture or the big picture. Big picture, I tell him, and he leads me from the gate of his apartment complex to the driveway of his next-door neighbor.

Martin’s neighbor is Freeport McMoRan, a company worth $30 billion. Freeport’s property beside Martin is just one tiny sliver of an empire that spans continents and includes some of the largest gold and copper mines in the world. Continue reading


Fracking Task Force Lacks Fair Representation

In the announcement this week of the members of the task force on the dangerous method of oil and gas extraction known as fracking, Gov. John Hickenlooper said, “Critical to the success and effectiveness of this task force is ensuring there is balanced and informed representation.”

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And then, we saw it…

Stillwater, OK. It was July. We were driving in unfamiliar territory in central Oklahoma, navigating through dusty, hot ranching communities and along miles of barbwire fence that separated us from distant livestock. The GPS spouted off a series of commands that led to narrower roads with horses, cattle, and homes closer to the fence lines. A mile or so beyond where the pavement ended, we saw it. Continue reading