Earthworks evolved from the work of two organizations: Mineral Policy Center and the Oil & Gas Accountability Project.
Mineral Policy Center was founded in 1988 by Phil Hocker, Mike McCloskey and former Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall to help reform mining laws and practices.
Mineral Policy Center’s track record of success includes: protecting Yellowstone National Park from the proposed New World gold mine, protecting 400,000 acres of the scenic Rocky Mountain Front, preventing mineral development near Yosemite National Park and helping to defend Argentina’s pristine Patagonia region from another proposed open-pit gold mine, and requiring mining companies to report their toxic releases in the United States.
In 1999, the Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) was founded to work with people in rural, tribal and urban communities to protect their homes and environment from the devastating impacts of oil and gas development — bringing together such diverse partners as Native Americans, ranchers, sportsmen and environmentalists.
OGAP’s accomplishments include: the permanent protection of New Mexico’s Valle Vidal, the passage of precedent setting reforms for landowner rights and environment from oil and gas wastes in New Mexico, the first-ever governmental requirements for disclosure of gas drilling chemicals in Colorado, and the local government adoption — in eight states — of OGAP-initiated best practices.
In 2005, these two organizations joined forces.