Posted on March 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Adaptive management and good mitigation can help greater sage-grouse survive the fracking tsunami. Photo via USGS.
Scientists tout adaptive management approach to sage-grouse conservation
FRISCO — When it comes to greater sage-grouse nesting areas, no disturbance is best, but carefully planned mitigation measures can help boost nest survival.
Minimizing disturbance to sagebrush is important, and the single biggest factor found to boost nest survival is locating wastewater treatment facilities away from drilling sites, scientists said last week, releasing results of a multi-year study in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
BLM rejects request for orderly master leasing plan
The BLM’s new management plan for the Tres Rios area is spurring criticism.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Residents and elected officials in southwest Colorado say a new management plan for a vast swath of public lands in the region favors oil and gas companies over community interests.
According to critics, the BLM Tres Rios land resource management plan would allow drilling near the edge of Mesa Verde National Park, adding to near-critical air pollution woes and disturbing important wildlife areas.
Most importantly, the federal agency ignored requests by local governments to ensure the orderly and safe development of fossil fuels. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, BLM, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: Colorado, Cortez, energy, Environment, fracking, Mesa Verde, national parks, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A Colorado oil and gas task force gave the greenlight for #fracking business as usual this week.
Watered down task force recommendations unlikely to avert statewide fracking ballot measure
FRISCO — Colorado towns and neighborhoods that want to protect themselves from toxic air and water pollution generated by fracking operations are gearing up for a long march toward the 2016 ballot box after a state task force failed to fully back any meaningful measures to strengthen local government control over oil and gas operations. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, fracking, local control, oil and gas task force | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A spike in Oklahoma earthquake activity has been linked with the injection of wastewater from oil and gas development.
Better seismic monitoring needed to reduce risks in vulnerable communities
FRISCO — Government and university scientists say better data and more transparency could help reduce the hazard of earthquakes caused by the deep injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling and fracking operations.
Careful monitoring around injection wells and full access to information on the injection volumes and rates could help project seismic activity, the scientists reported. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: earthquakes, energy, fracking, fracking earthquakes, fracking wastewater injection, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas development is ‘not all puppies and flowers’
Is fracking coming to your Arapahoe County neighborhood?
FRISCO — If the next wave of fracking in Colorado sweeps toward Arapahoe County, residents will be able to better inform themselves about potential drilling sites and impacts to schools and neighborhoods thanks to a new mapping project. The maps identify areas that are leased for fossil fuel exploitation, showing where they overlap with residential areas, and where there’s potential for impacts. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: Arapahoe County, Colorado, Environment, fracking, oil and gas, public health | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A patchwork of drill pads connected by a spiderweb of roads in northeastern Utah.
‘Wildlife habitat goals cannot be realized by merely establishing grasses …’
FRISCO — Restoring areas after drilling and fracking requires more than just spreading out some dirt and sprinkling a few grass seeds around, according to two Colorado scientists who took a close look at 10 drilling sites in Rio Blanco County.
After sampling two undisturbed reference sites and eight reclaimed or abandoned natural gas well pads, they found that none of the oil and gas well pads included in the study had returned to a pre-drilling, condition — even those that had had 20 to 50 years to recover. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Environment, fracking, public lands, sagebrush ecosystem restoration | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
This map shows the geographical distribution of natural gas consumption during the year from September 2012 to August 2013 for the four states included in the study region. The research team used this data, along with air monitoring and analysis, to assess the fraction of delivered natural gas that was emitted to the atmosphere. Image courtesy of Kathryn McKain, Harvard SEAS.
Researchers say energy companies have little incentive to prevent leaks
FRISCO — A team of engineers and scientists say that up to 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas, worth some $90 million, may be escaping from leaky pipes in the Boston area.
The researchers, led by atmospheric scientists at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences calculated the figure by analyzing a year’s worth of continuous methane measurements, using a high-resolution regional atmospheric transport model to calculate the amount of emissions.
Tackling the problem will require innovative policy because low prices and the way in which natural gas suppliers are regulated mean that gas companies have little economic incentive to make the necessary investments to reduce incidental losses from leakage, according to the Harvard researchers. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, fracking, gas drilling, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Harvard, methane leaks, Natural gas | Leave a comment »