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 »
Posted on January 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A male Gunnison sage-grouse struts as part of its spring mating ritual. Photo courtesy BLM.
Wildlife advocates say dwindling birds need full protection of Endangered Species Act
FRISCO — Dwindling Gunnison sage-grouse will have to wait a bit long to find out what kind of endangered species protection — if any — they will get.
Following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the birds as threatened, the agency faces twin lawsuits — one from the State of Colorado, which claims that the birds shouldn’t be listed at all, and another from conservation groups seeking to give the birds the highest level of protection under an “endangered” listing. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, endangered species act, Gunnison Sage Grouse, US Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Activists say report downplays threat to water
FRISCO — California regulators this week released the first section of a new environmental review of fracking impacts. But the study fails to take a hard look at many of the potentially harmful impacts, according to environmental activists.
The review by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources was released even though state scientists are still six months away from completing their analysis of the risks and harms of the controversial form of oil and gas extraction, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, water quality | Tagged: California, energy, Environment, fracking, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘The risk of spills is one of the major ways that residents in the oil patch bear a disproportionate burden from the state’s energy boom’
FRISCO — Conservation advocates in Colorado say there were a total of 712 spills from oil and gas operations in Colorado during 2014, which together released more than 1 million gallons and other chemicals.
The data were released by the Center for Western Priorities as part of the organizations’s Toxic Release Tracker.
“This is the third year we’ve tracked oil and gas spills in Colorado, and it’s a continuing reminder that the benefits of today’s oil boom come alongside significant risks to Colorado’s communities and outdoor spaces,” said Greg Zimmerman, Policy Director at CWP. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, fracking, oil spills, toxic release tracker | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Frackers in Colorado will face stiffer penalties for spills and other dangerous incidents. bberwyn photo.
New rules eliminate penalty cap
FRISCO — Daily penalties for fracking leaks and spills, or other environmentally dangerous accidents associated with fossil fuel development will go up to as much as $15,000 per day in Colorado, under new rules adopted this week by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.The beefed-up penalty structure also does away with a $10,000 penalty cap for each violation. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, water, water quality | Tagged: Colorado, fossil fuels, fracking, fracking penalties, oil and gas | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Fossil fuel industry says it wants clarity
Colorado fracking operators may see changes in enforcement procedures. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Colorado oil and gas regulators will start the new year today with the continuation of a hearing aimed at beefing up enforcement and penalties. The Denver hearing starts at 9 a.m. with a live audio stream available at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission website. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, fracking, fracking penalities, oil and gas | Leave a comment »