It’s time for a little honesty from Energy Corporation of America (ECA). Last year, Denver based ECA opened an office in Billings with this statement from CEO John Mork, “I would love to bring something like the Bakken, maybe something a little more orderly than what is going on in Williston right now, to the area in the Big Horns and other areas in Montana.”
In late February, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas approved a permit for ECA to go ahead and start developing some of the leases they hold in the state. Unfortunately for Montanans, ECA isn’t being completely honest about their past.
A recent story in the Billings Gazette by reporter Tom Lutey brought some new facts to light. The story mentions that in Pennsylvania, “ECA has been fined more than $90,000 for violations ranging from fouling a trout run to discharging hazardous waste and not meeting administrative requirements.” Lutey also writes that two lawsuits were filed by property owners against the company in Pennsylvania.
ECA has plans to develop leases, some of which are located along the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. In a report filed by a well inspector in Pennsylvania, the company was cited for a large tear in a pit liner that was within 100 feet of a stream. Can ECA ensure that won’t happen here?
Oil and gas development certainly has a place in Montana and across the West. But lawsuits and violations shouldn’t just be a cost of doing business. Not when there’s so much at stake. Call ECA and make sure they’re working for Montanans, not just themselves.