OVERALL Questar corporation is an energy company with asset valued at about $4 billion which is the main developer of the gas wells arround the Pinedale Mesa, an area that is famous at the gateway to the hunting, fishing, and hiking treasures. Ocassionally elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and other wild life, including the imperiled greater sage grouse, descent from their habitats atop the mesa and gingerly make their way around and between the questar wells around Pinedale. Not suprisingly, environmentalist are at war with questar, whose expanding operations are increasingly encroaching on the wild life habitats that lies atop the mesa. Yet the natural gas that questar pumps up from beneath the mesa is a desperately needed resource that
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BENEFIT S Energy experts welcomed the new supply of natural gas, which burns more cleanly than any other fossil fuel such as coal, diesel, oil, or gasoline. Increasing jobs, tax revenue and a booming local economy. 60% of the state budget is based on royalties the state receives from coal, gas and oil operations. COST Largeareas of the mesa provide habitat for mule deer, pronghorn sheep, sage grouse, and other species. Sage Grous population¶s is decreased Sage grous is a colourful bird that today survives only in scattered pockets in 11 states. It is estimated that 200 years ago the birds numbered 2 million.
By the 1970s, their number fallen to about 400,000.
A study completed in June 2004, the number only between 140,000 and 250,000 of the birds left. Another animals at risk The mesa is an important migration route and wintering ground "Environmentalists feared that if the animals were prevented from reaching their winter ranges, or if the winter ranges became inhospitable, the large herds would wither and die off." LOBBYING Questar and other companies formed a coalition led byJim Smith, to lobby the Bush administration to keep the grouse off the endangered species list. D ruBowe r, vice president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming said that ³[endangered species] listings are not good for the oil and gas industry, so anything we can do to prevent a species from being listed is good for the industry.´