My name is Thomas Abe and I live on Fort Berthold and am an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes. I am an instructor at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College. For the past eight years prior I taught chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, and environmental science mostly.

Where I live is in the epicenter of what is called the Bakken formation. Wells that are drilled in the Bakken have a 98 percent chance of being successful. Prior to the Bakken, this area had conventional oil development for many years, though Fort Berthold was excluded oil development prior to the Bakken. It wasn’t until around 7-8 years ago that Fort Berthold had oil development.


north dakota oil and gas


“It’s become evident that the air quality decreased since the start of the development because of the increased truck traffic and from the flaring. I have heard many complaints by people about things like upper respiratory issues and asthma problems increasing since the start of development.  The combination of dust from trucks and emissions from flares create what’s called aerosols. Aerosols are a particle that floats in the air a lot smaller than a dust particle and this type of air particle can get into your lung and eventually launch into areas of your body like a heart and the brain.”
oil well flaring


“Beyond the impacts to human health, the carbon and methane emissions from flaring or leaking oil and gas wells significantly impact the climate. Raw methane gas is considered 75 times worse for the climate than carbon, so methane venting and leaks are a real problem. Flaring is also a problem for climate, but not as much as raw methane gas. We are currently experiencing 1 degree in warming right now, and we are approaching to 2 degrees of warming. It is past time to act to stop things like flaring and the release of raw methane gas”


new town, north dakota, resident


-Tom Abe
New Town, ND