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Gas or Grouse ?

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on 18 May 2014

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Transcript of Gas or Grouse ?

In the light of the fact that natural gas reduce the U.S.'s undesirable dependence on foreign oil and the fact that natural gas produces less greenhouse gases that coal, oil, and other fuels, should Questar continue its drilling operations? Does the environmental impact of Questar's drilling operations imply that Questar is morally obligated to stop drilling wells on the Pinedale Mesa? Explain.
Question 3
Ethical issues that were raised by the case
The government will take necessary action if Questar doing their operations which is not allowed by the government and it brings too much impact or critical damage to the environment until causes some critical issue such as extinction of wildlife species, disaster, and so on.
Roads, wells and other structure had to be located a quarter mile or more from grouse breeding ground and at least 2 miles from nesting area during breeding session.
No drilling activity during winter.

Gas drilling had threatened the sage-grouse.
Drilling harms sage-grouse, efforts to mitigate drilling impacts to sage-grouse have been inadequate so far.
Sage-grouse need real landscape-level protections from the impacts of oil and gas drilling
Should we keep on our business advantages and profit without consider the other living things?

RM 1.50
Monday, May 19, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Case Background
What are the systemic, corporate, and individual issues raised in this case?
Question 1

Pinedale Mesa
Gas or Grouse ?
Questar Corporation
Bureau of Land Management(BLM)
Sometime called the Pinedale Anticline.
Is a 40-mile-long mesa extending north and south along the eastern side of Wyoming’s Green River Basin.
Famous as the gateway to the hunting, fishing, and hiking treasures.
Surrounded by hundreds of recently drilled wells ceaselessly pumping natural gas.

An energy company with assets valued at about $4 billion
The main developer of the gas wells around the city and up on the mesa overlooking the city.
Mesa is a desperately needed resource that provides the nation with a clean and cheap source of energy.
By the beginning of 2004, Questar had drilled 76 wells on the 14,800 acres it leased from the federal government and the Wyoming state government and had plans to eventually drill at least 400 more wells.

Took into account how badly the drilling would affect the wildlife of the Pinedale Mesa.
Imposed several restrictions on Questar’s operations on the mesa.
To protect the wildlife species living on the mesa especially sage-grouse.

Is a colorful bird that today survives only in scattered pocket in 11 states.
The birds need large stands of sagebrush and it is extremely sensitive to human activity.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would begin the process of a study on whether the sage grouse should be categorized as an endangered species.
Biologists believe that if its sagebrush habitats are not protected, the bird will be so reduced in number by 2050 that it will never recover.

Question 6
Is the loss of species a problem of pollution? Or it just a problem of conservation?

The loss of species in this case is both a problem of pollution and also a problem of conservation.

On the problem of pollution, the operation of Gas Drilling Company is becoming source of pollution in terms of land pollution which is by occupying & damaging wildlife habitat, operational vehicle or truck traffic, water pollution may cause by drilling sediments, air pollution from the operation of drilling rig and so on.

On the problem of conservation, the government (Via BLM) not imposing strict rules about the usage of the land which is the habitat for Grouse bird, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and other wildlife species.

Can the loss of species by evaluated as an ‘external cost’? Explain?

Question 2
How would wildlife species like grouse or deer be valued, and how should that value be balanced against the economic interests of a society or of a company like Questar?
What principles or rules would you propose we use to balance the value of wildlife species against economic interests?
Systemic Issues
Employment opportunity
Tax and royalty revenue to government
Reducing the need to import energy supplies from abroad

Reducing US’s reliance on foreign energy supplies
Increasing international political bargaining position
Bargaining power enhancement of the energy company coalition on the Government

Declining numbers of wildlife species such as: Sage Grouse, Mule Deer, Pronghorn antelope due to gas drilling & production activity.
Damage in Pinedale Mesa Landscape ecologically
Gas is more environment friendly compared to coal and oil.

Corporate Issues
Drilling pad taking a big space to support drilling rig
Piping networks impacting wildlife habitat

High cost for drilling activity in winter month
Inefficiency due to seasonal interruption activity

New Technology
Application of Directional Drilling
Second pipe system for liquid waste

Individual Issues
Jim Sims
Negotiator for Questar
Suggested ‘funding scientific studies’ that would be designed to show that the Sage Grouse was not endangered

Dru Brower
Vice president of the petroleum association in Wyoming
Keep the species at Pinedale Mesa out of the ‘endangered species list’

Residents in Pinedale Mesa welcome gas companies
Bring benefits: jobs, revenue, and local economy

RM 1.50
Monday, May 19, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Proper wildlife management and conservation

Wise use of nature and nature preservation in their management strategy
To ensure protection of resource values and resource uses
Wild places should be allowed to develop on their own with as little interference from humans as possible
Ecological ethics must be in taken account in any business activity of the company
Legalization of environmental laws and company policies

Pain is an evil whether it is inflicted on humans or animals.
Involve this consideration in management decisions.

Provide jobs for the society,
Increase the government revenue from tax and royalty.
Economic growth for local region
Supplying clean energy and environment friendly compared to oil, coal, and so on.

The restrictions imposed by BLM is :
The loss of species can be regarded as external cost in this case study.
So it must be internalized to company cost.

(Internal Cost)

External cost

Social Cost


Group C

Presented to:
Dr. Shahibudin bin Ishak

Group 3

Full transcript