Montana tribe breaks off talks over gas drilling on sacred land

MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press

A northwest Montana American Indian tribe has broken off consultations with the U.S. government over a longstanding proposal by a Louisiana company to drill for natural gas on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people.

 

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A northwest Montana American Indian tribe has broken off consultations with the U.S. government over a longstanding proposal by a Louisiana company to drill for natural gas on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people.

Tribal leaders said after three rounds of negotiations, they remain steadfast in opposition to drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park.

Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge has been seeking for decades to drill on its 6,200-acre lease. It's been held up by federal officials.

The company sued in 2013, and a U.S. District Judge in Washington, D.C. is considering its request to begin drilling this summer.

William Perry Pendley heads the law firm representing Solenex. He says the tribe's end to the formal consultation process was another attempt to delay the work.

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