Oil drilling near historic ranch?

Oil drilling near historic ranch? Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) An oil company has staked out an area near the site of Theodore Roosevelt's historic Badlands ranch in western North Dakota.

But XTO Energy spokesman Jeff Neu tells The Associated Press that the company is consulting with federal officials about an alternative location. He says reports that the company is intending to drill near the ranch are premature.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Superintendent Valerie Naylor says the prospect of oil wells near the historic Elkhorn Ranch represents the worst threat to the park in its history.

State Mineral Resources officials who will make a recommendation to the Industrial Commission have scheduled a permit hearing March 28.

Any oil wells also would require a federal permit because they would be on the Little Missouri National Grasslands.

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