Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Keystone Policy Center calls for creation of new entity to resolve local control questions
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Resolving issues associated with oil and gas development in Colorado requires an ongoing dialogue, according to the Keystone Policy Center, which last week urged Governor John Hickenlooper and state legislative leaders to continue the work of the oil and gas task force that tried to tackle the thorny question of local versus state control.
The Keystone Policy Center facilitated the efforts of the task force, which recently submitted a list of recommendations to the state in its final report. Some of recommendations could be addressed as part of the state budgeting process, while others may result in new rules from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Christine Scanlan, Colorado, Colorado Oil and gas task force, Doug Young, fracking, Gov. John Hickenooper, Keystone Policy Center, local control, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
An aerial view show a spreading network of drilling roads spreading on public lands in eastern Utah.
Lease practices, bonding requirements and royalty rates on the table in planned revision
FRISCO — The federal government wants to update rules governing oil and gas royalty rates and other financial aspects of oil and gas development on public lands.
In a rule-making notice to be published in the Federal Register this week, the Department of Interior said it will take public comment on rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances for oil and gas operations.
“It’s time to have a candid conversation about whether the American taxpayer is getting the right return for the development of oil and gas resources on public lands,” Interior Secretary Jewell, said in a statement. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, federal government, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Department of Interior, federal oil and gas royalty rates, oil and gas drilling. public lands, public lands lease rates, Sally Jewell | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘State-of-the-art research focused on the Four Corners area is vital to the understanding of greenhouse gas emissions and potential mitigation options’
FRISCO — When orbiting satellites identified a methane hotspot over the Four Corners region, it made headlines all over the world — a sure sign, it seems, that our insatiable quest for fossil fuels has a global footprint.
Next week, residents of the region will have a chance to learn more about how various agencies are looking at methane and other pollution issues associated with fracking during a forum hosted by the Four Corners Air Quality Group. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, energy, Environment, fracking, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Four Corners, fracking, methane, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Methane found in stream near faulty Pennsylvania natural gas well
FRISCO — Gathering baseline water quality data from streams in fracking zones could help pinpoint impacts to drinking water, researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Geological Survey said after finding high levels of methane in a Pennsylvania stream.
Multiple samples from the stream, Sugar Run in Lycoming County, showed a groundwater inflow of thermogenic methane, consistent with what would be found in shale gas. The samples came from an area near the site of a reported Marcellus shale gas well leak. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: Environment, fracking, Marcellus Shale gas, methane, water quality | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Better wells and disclosure, but not enough protection for special areas
*More on public lands fracking in these Summit Voice stories
FRISCO — New fracking rules for federally managed public lands include tighter standards for well-bore integrity, wastewater disposal and disclosure of chemicals, but don’t go far enough to fully protect public health and the environment, according to activist groups, who wanted the Bureau of Land Management to adopt more stringent regulations. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: BLM, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Western U.S. Counties Violating Current and Proposed Ozone Air Quality Standards. Map courtesy Jeremy Nichols/ClimateWest blog.
Proposed EPA standards would help bring relief to residents of fossil fuel development zones
FRISCO — The mythology of the American West includes standard notions of pristine vistas and clean air, but the reality is far different. Some parts of the region have a dirty little secret — air quality that, at times, is worse than places like L.A.
And for now, the problem is getting worse. Expanded drilling on public lands is resulting in emissions of more volatile organic compounds that form the chemical basis for ozone. Global warming won’t help either. By mid-century, ozone pollution will become much more widespread as temperatures rise, potentially leading to widespread plant damage, according to one recent study.
Proposed new EPA ozone standards could help, but only if there’s an active year-round monitoring regime in the region, a coalition of environmental groups said in their formal public comments on the proposed new standards. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air quality, Environment, epa ozone standards, fracking, West | 2 Comments »
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 | 1 Comment »