Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 16, 2023


Wendy Park, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 844-7138,
Linda Baker, Upper Green River Alliance, (307) 360-7000,
Erik Molvar, Western Watersheds Project, (307) 399-7910,

Appeals Court to Hear Arguments Wednesday Challenging Massive Wyoming Fracking Project

DENVER― A federal appeals court panel will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups challenging a Trump-era plan to allow a massive gas field in southwestern Wyoming. Pronghorns and sage grouse rely on the 220-square-mile sagebrush habitat for their survival.

What: Oral arguments on appeal of 3,500-well fracking project that would disrupt the ancient Path of the Pronghorn.

When: 9 a.m. MT, Wednesday, May 17

Where: 10th U.S. Court of Appeals, Byron White U.S. Courthouse, Courtroom II, 1823 Stout St., Denver, CO 80257. The hearing will also be livestreamed.

Who: Western Watersheds Project, Upper Green River Alliance and the Center for Biological Diversity will be represented by attorney Wendy Park. She will be available for interviews after the hearing.


In February 2020 conservation groups challenged the 140,000-acre Normally Pressure Lance project in federal court in Wyoming. Conservation groups appealed the lower court’s ruling upholding the project, which would harm greater sage grouse habitat and disrupt the 170-mile-long migratory Path of the Pronghorn.

The path connects Grand Teton National Park and crucial winter range farther south in the Upper Green River Basin. Drilling in the area could eliminate Grand Teton’s entire population of roughly 300 pronghorns. State and federal agencies have poured millions of dollars into protecting the world-renowned route.

The pronghorn migratory path is one of North America’s last remaining long-distance land migrations and one of the longest in the Western Hemisphere. While the path’s northern reach to the national park is federally protected, its southern section has been narrowed by two neighboring gas fields.

Jonah Energy plans to develop 350 gas wells annually over 10 years. Drilling would worsen ozone pollution in the upper Green River basin, where winter ozone levels already exceed federal health standards. The project would produce up to 440 million tons of equivalent carbon dioxide pollution.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit environmental conservation group working to protect and restore wildlife and watersheds throughout the American West.

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