Posted on September 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world. Photo courtesy BLM.
Federal court order also voids part of Colorado roadless rule for National Forest lands
FRISCO — Arch Coal and the U.S. Forest Service will have to start from scratch before they plan any new mining activities in a roadless area near Paonia.
A federal judge this week vacated existing federal approvals for an exploration plan, for lease modifications and a site-specific exemption to the Colorado Roadless Rule, seen by conservation groups as a blatant give-away to the fossil fuel industry.
This week’s order follows up on a June ruling, when U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson said the U.S. Forest Service failed to account for the costs of carbon pollution associated with any new mining activities. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon polliution, climate change, coal mining, Colorado, fossil fuels, NEPA | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A fracking operation in Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Some conclusions flawed by lack of adequate data, environmental advocates say,
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The battle over fracking probably won’t die down until humankind slurps up the last of the planet’s fossil fuel resources, and a new report by a California agency probably will intensify the debate.
The short-term study shows that fracking could threaten California ground water and pose human health risks, but was characterized as incomplete by environmental groups, who said it’s based on just a few months of data with big information gaps resulting from lack of complete reporting by state regulators. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: BLM, California, energy, Environment, fracking | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
From the air, it’s clear how far fracking impacts have spread on to the remote mesas of western Colorado and eastern Utah. bberwyn photo.
Stakeholder group may draft recommendations for state legislature on local control; community conservation groups feel left out of ‘secret’ deal
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A new commission formed to address fracking concerns will be able to make recommendations to the Colorado Legislature on issues related to local control over industrial fossil fuel extraction. But so far, the group doesn’t have a timetable or any other specific targets.
Governor John Hickenlooper announced the 18-member group and called for withdrawal of various fracking-related ballot measures. The environmental community has indicated it will withdraw its ballot initiative, which would have clarified the rights of local communities to regulate potentially harmful fracking, said Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project Director Bruce Baizel. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, energy environment, fossil fuels, fracking, fracking commission | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Impacts likely to persist for decades
Oil: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
FRISCO — Oil-eating microbes in the Gulf of Mexico may have helped break down some of the pollution from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, but some of the most toxic constituents of BP’s oil probably remain, most likely at the bottom of the sea.
Two new Florida State University studies in a deep sea oil plume found found that a species of bacteria called Colwellia likely consumed gaseous hydrocarbons and perhaps benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene compounds that were released as part of the oil spill — but not the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are a group of semi-volatile organic compounds that are present in crude oil and can cause long-term health problems such as cancer. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, energy, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, fossil fuels, Gulf of Mexico, PAHs | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Holistic evaluation of impacts needed
In areas where shale-drilling/hydraulic fracturing is heavy, a dense web of roads, pipelines and well pads turn continuous forests and grasslands into fragmented islands. Photo courtesy Simon Fraser University PAMR.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —Fracking battles often develop over neighborhood concerns about pollution, but that local focus may mean that we’re losing sight of the bigger picture. On a landscape level, the current and projected scale of shale gas exploitation poses a huge threat to ecosystems, as each individual well contributes to air, water, noise and light pollution.
Those impacts need to be examined on a cumulative level, scientists said in a new study that calls for scientists, industry representatives and policymakers to collaborate closely on minimizing damage to the natural world from shale gas development. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, energy, air quality | Tagged: Environment, water pollution, air pollution, fracking, ecosystems | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Cutting methane could slow global temperature surge.
Action could help avert climate tipping points
FRISCO — Leading scientists say the U.S. must do more to cut methane emissions from fossil fuel exploitation and other sectors to try and avoid reaching climate tipping points that could have disastrous implications.
Methane is a much more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide, but it only stays in the atmosphere for about 12 years, which means that big cuts could have a tangible short-term benefit in the race to cap global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Signs of oil and gas development are visible on a landscape level from 35,000 feet in the air.
Are communities powerless against the fracking juggernaut?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Banning fracking within Longmont city limits would result in “waste” of the state’s mineral resources, Boulder District Court Judge D.D. Mallard ruled today, voiding the city’s voter-enacted ban on the controversial drilling practice.
But fracking won’t resume anytime soon in the northern Colorado town, as Judge Mallard said there will be no fracking “until further order of Court, either from this Court or a higher court.”
In Judge Mallard’s words: “Longmont’s ban on hydraulic fracturing does not prevent waste; instead, it causes waste. Because of the ban, mineral deposits were left in the ground that otherwise could have been extracted in the Synergy well. Mineral deposits are being left in the ground by all the wells that are not being drilled due to the fracking ban.” Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, fracking ban, Longmont | Leave a comment »