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Montana Gas and Oil Regulatory Actions on the Rise

Last week, ProPublica rolled out a database tracking natural gas drilling and regulation in each of the 32 drilling states in the country, focusing on the 22 that supplied the most complete data.

We've updated the database to include Montana's gas and oil enforcement actions, which you can check out here. Montana shows an overall growth in enforcement actions -- with a 95 percent increase from 2003 to 2009. During the same period, Montana added just one enforcement staff member, bringing its ranks to six, while the number of new wells drilled between 2003 and 2008 increased 7 percent.

That's contrary to what we found in many other drilling states, where the number of new wells skyrocketed while the number of enforcement staff and enforcement actions either stayed the same or grew only slightly.

We'll continue to update the database as states report their 2009 final numbers, so stay tuned.

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