Judge restores oil lease on land sacred to tribes
September 13, 2022
BILLINGS, Mont. — A federal judge on Friday ordered the Biden administration to reinstate a drilling lease that has been in dispute for decades on land near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that is considered sacred to tribes in the U.S. and Canada.
The 10-square-mile oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area of northwestern Montana was first issued in 1982. It was cancelled in 2016 under then-U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, at the request of the Blackfoot tribes and conservation groups.
There have been efforts to declare the area a national monument or make it a cultural heritage area, and tribal leaders have bitterly opposed drilling in recent decades.