Critical Thinking Scenario
August 5, 2015
Critical Thinking Scenario
Wyoming's Upper Green River Valley is a crucial link to Yellowstone ecosystem. Every year thousands of animals including Antelope, Elk, and Mule deer, pass through the valley on a long migration from the Grand Tetons to their winter grazing pastures. This valley is also home to the rare Sage-Grouse. The valley is also the home to the vital trout habitat of the headwaters of the Colorado River. People have compared the green valley river environment to the environment of the Serengeti, because of the spectacular variety of wildlife. Locals and environmentalist say it is starting to look like ...view middle of the document...
” (“Doing It Right: Ensuring Responsible Natural Gas Development on Our Public Lands,” 2011, para. 3). Environmentalist and state officials believe the moral responsibility falls on the natural gas industry and doing it right.
Doing it right means the moral liability of the natural gas industry to follow policies that protect the leasing and development to drill is off limits to unprotected wild landscapes and sensitive cultural lands. Protection and laws from the adverse impacts of gas or oil drilling on wildlife habitats, drinking water, and surface water quality protection from chemical compounds used in drilling. Air quality needs protection from ozone-forming emissions, methane emissions, and other pollutants that come from natural gas development. Another moral responsibility of the natural gas industry is respecting the rights of landowners, and allow an agency to conduct field monitoring and inspections of drilling plans and sites.
Studies show that natural gas is 30-50 percent cleaner burning than coal. According to “Doing It Right: Ensuring Responsible Natural Gas Development on Our Public Lands” (2011) that natural gas accounted for over a fifth of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2008. The graph showed below supports those facts.
Source: Energy Information Administration. “Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2008.”
Stakeholders’ moral failings
Because of the enormous amounts of profits that come from each well, and new technology in extracting natural gas. Government administration has directed land managers to expedite oil and gas from multiple states in the West and the Upper Green River Valley. Conservationists have concerns that Bureau of Land Management employees is under intense pressure from Washington for energy development. "I think a lot of these people are in the extremely uncomfortable position of not knowing whether they might lose their job if they acted as traditional conservation stewards for the landscape and its wildlife. Energy companies have already crisscrossed the landscape with new roads to reach the drilling site. Enormous trucks stir up dust and scare the wildlife and then there's the noise. In another part of the state, the Powder River Basin, residents are outraged at water pollution left by the extraction method used there." (University of Phoenix, 2004, para.10).
Because of the divergences in socioeconomic and political connection maintaining the migration of the pronghorn and antelope in Yellowstone Ecosystem in its natural perpetuity is an upstanding goal. Conflicts on conserving the migratory corridor have limited differences in defining the problem, or problem definitions, and methods for determining strategies that are appropriate for a satisfactory protection for these animals. “A previous study on the migration’s policy process suggests that there are three primary political problem definitions asserted by stakeholders: the ecological-scientific...