It's the Environment, Stupid.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Coal-bed methane photos stirring up controversey in Wyoming

ENN picked up on a photography exhibit of Wyoming's Powder River Basin that is causing quite the stir. The photos show the effects that coal-bed methane practices are having on the land.

The industry response? Nothing less than what you would expect - the photos don't give the full picture, coal-bed methane is important for economic development, the photos are a direct attack on the industry - the usual. Turns out some of the artists have worked for the industry in the past, and aren't against the industry but think practices can be done a little more responsibly. The exhibit isn't an attack, they say, but more of a document of what is going on.

The folks at Powder River Basin Resource Council, a non-profit organization that takes this issue seriously, and according to the mission statement on their website, also think the coal-bed methane industry can do a little better. "We believe in, and are dedicated to, good land stewardship. We do not oppose development. We want to see RESPONSIBLE development of Wyoming's natural resources."

See, they're not against development either. Maybe these photos can succeed in promoting an open dialogue between the two sides - if the industry can get off of the defensive that is.

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