Press Release Jul 6, 2016

County Commission Approves Oil Refinery Next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Despite opposition from current and former national park superintendents, the Billings County Commission in North Dakota approved rezoning for an industrial scale oil refinery, to be built less than three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

MEDORA, ND – Today, the Billings County Commission in North Dakota approved rezoning for an industrial scale oil refinery, to be built less than three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The fast-moving proposal, led by Meridian Energy Group has been met with opposition by current and former superintendents of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and many people in the state and local area. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a renowned site in the history of U.S. conservation, and was listed by the New York Times as one of 52 places to travel in 2016.

Below is a Statement by Bart Melton, Northern Rockies Regional Director for National Parks Conservation Association

“National Parks Conservation Association stands alongside the current and former Superintendents of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in expressing our deep concern over and opposition to the Meridian Energy Group proposal.”

“The inappropriateness of industrial development next to a national park named for the president who was a visionary for public lands conservation cannot be overstated. An oil refinery and associated industrial development would fundamentally and forever degrade the conservation values our nation committed to protect when we created Theodore Roosevelt National Park.”

“Instead of beholding the stunning Painted Canyon overlook, national park visitors could look out at skies marked by plumes of smoke. Under the Clean Air Act, 48 national parks, including Theodore Roosevelt, should have the highest level of air quality protection. Pollution from sources like oil and gas development is among the most serious threats facing national parks, affecting visitor health, compromising scenic vistas and altering the climate. The proposal from Meridian would no doubt degrade both the viewshed and air quality of our prized Theodore Roosevelt National Park.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.