December 2021

December 2021 Newsletter


Happy winter BCAG members and friends,

As the solstice and holidays arrive, BCAG wishes you a safe and healthy season!

Action Alert

Oil & Gas Leasing on Federal Lands

Take action to urge a permanent halt to oil and gas leasing on Federal lands. The Biden administration paused issuing new oil and gas leases soon after taking office (although that pause was halted in March after a lawsuit by 13 states), to allow time to reassess the leasing program. The Department of Interior (DOI) recently released a report detailing proposed changes to the program. The following are highlights of the recommendations in the report:

  1. The DOI should increase oil and gas royalty rates and bonding levels, to become more comparable with those on other lands.
  2. The process should be made more responsive, so that oil and gas leasing are not prioritized over other uses of BLM lands, while improving consultation with local communities, Tribes, and other entities.
  3. The management process should be made more inclusive, particular with regard to Tribal voices and concerns.

While this report is admirable in recommending improvements in leasing land use practices, it falls short of President Biden’s promise to halt oil and gas leasing and does not adequately address the urgency of the climate crisis.

We encourage people to write Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland expressing these concerns. In particular, letter writers could thank the DOI for recommending the changes described in the report and say that it doesn’t go far enough. Permanently stopping issuance of new oil and gas leases on public lands is essential to reach the Administration’s goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

To contact Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior. Call 800-877-8339; Email Mail a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

BCAG Activities

Envision Hamilton

Members of BCAG have participated in the recent phase of the City of Hamilton’s Envision program to update its long-range plan. Members gave their input into the City’s efforts to identify areas to increase affordable housing within the City limits.


Issues currently before the City including housing costs, infrastructure planning, and demographic changes in the population. The City is currently holding public workshops to obtain input on opportunities and choices. Over the winter a draft plan will be prepared for public review, with revisions and a final plan coming in the spring 2022.

City Planner Matthew Rorhbach reported that “Strengthening self-sufficiency and resilience” was among the things the City heard from the public in last summer’s Envision public input sessions. BCAG’s chair Peter Reynolds called for climate resilience to be included as the City considers who and where to increase the supply of house, balance in-fill and expansion, and appropriately add City infrastructure.

BCAG will continue to participate in this process as the City plan is drawn up.

Please take a look at the Envision Hamilton document. All Bitterroot valley citizens are welcome to comment. You can stay updated and register to get involved by clicking the blue button top right at:

Please take a look at the Envision Hamilton document. All Bitterroot valley citizens are welcome to comment. You can stay updated and register to get involved by going to the Envision Hamilton page and clicking the blue button top right.

Electric vehicle Charging Station Update

The City of Hamilton has issued a Request for Proposal to build and operate an
EVCS on 2nd Street in Hamilton outside of the Hamilton City Hall building. The City hopes that the EVCS will be built and operable in early summer 2022.

Curtis Shuck, Well Done Project, Recording Available


The November educational presentation featuring Curtis Shuck and the Well Done project recording is now available: Capping Methane in Montana with Curtis Shuck

The Great falls Tribune printed an article on the Well Done organization: This Montana nonprofit organization is capping abandoned oil wells across the U.S.

Climate and Winter News Articles

Biden's Infrastructure Bill

The US Infrastructure Legislation has passed with mixed news for climate change issues. Here are two articles detailing the positives and the shortfalls.

Biden's Infrastructure Law Is Good for the Climate But Not Enough The legislation contains funding for clean energy transmission, electric vehicles, and climate resilience but it won’t significantly reduce emissions.


Here is A helpful summary of what's in the just-passed infrastructure bill climate-wise (there's some good stuff!) - and why it's still not enough on its own (via Grist)


The International Climate Conference, COP 26, also resulted in mixed outcomes for climate. Gains and disappointments from COP26, and now to tend to the gaps.

Melt Away Winter Energy Bill Shock This Winter 10 Hot Tips

Don't let your winter energy bill freeze you out. These tips from Earth 911 can help you reduce your power consumption —good for you and the environment.

New Report from the Yale Center on Climate Change Communication

A new report on Climate Change in the American Mind overall found public understanding that climate change is happening, affecting the weather, and harming Americans is at all-time record high. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it is not happening by a ratio of more than 6 to 1. For the first time, a majority of Americans (52%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.

Volunteers Needed!
BCAG is looking for board members and/or volunteers to help us in different areas. If you have an interest in one of these, please contact board Chair Peter Reynolds. The BCAG board interviews all prospects interested in serving on the board to determine mutual interest and compatibility.

  • Board Members – Plan and coordinate BCAG’s work, including assuming
    responsibility for one or more specific areas of operation. Monthly board
    meeting, plus outside volunteer work. Board’s work is to make and
    approve policies, budgets and programs. Some committee ongoing work
  • Program Presentation Series Coordinator – works with board to
    identify potential speakers, liaison with board, coordinate information for
    BCAG publicity and introduce speaker at the event. After Covid, the
    Coordinator will help us return to live presentations.
  • Project Manager – works with board to take responsibility for specific
    projects and carrying forward tasks and activities. This includes our
    program to mitigate wildfire smoke through purchase and distribution of portable HEPA air filters to disadvantaged persons in Ravalli County.

If you are interested in helping out, contact Peter Reynolds.