Posted on October 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Finding common ground on proposed new oil and gas drilling rules won’t be easy based on initial comments. @bberwyn photo.
Industry, community groups both criticize meek draft regulations
New rules proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are drawing fire from both the industry, which says the proposed regulations go far beyond what was recommended by an advisory panel that met last summer, and by some citizen groups, who claim rules leave the door wide-open to large-scale fracking operations near homes and schools.
The proposed rules specifically address recommendations made by the Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force related to the size of oil and gas extraction and processing facilities, requirements for advance disclosure of drilling plans and the ability of local communities to help determine locations through a consultation process. The proposed rules are posted here. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Mule deer populations in northwest Colorado have taken a bit hit from energy development
‘Just pointing fingers at the energy industry is not a helpful solution to this difficult issue’
FRISCO — A recent study showing that energy development in northwest Colorado significantly affects wildlife habitat drew national attention, and a curious reaction from Colorado’s wildlife agency, which seemed to be apologizing on behalf of the energy industry.
The study showed that the region’s dwindling mule deer population shies well away from active drilling, to a distance of at least 800 meters. Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night.
When they added up the impacts, the researchers found that the responses equate to alteration of mule deer behavior by human development in more than 50 percent of the critical winter range in the study area during the day and over 25 percent at night. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, energy, fossil fuels, fracking, habitat fragmentation, Mule deer | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Marine conservation advocates say new seismic airgun blasting in the Arctic Ocean threatens whales and other marine life. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Seismic blasting east of Greenland raises concerns about impacts to marine mammals
FRISCO — The Arctic Ocean north of Alaska isn’t the only area increasingly at risk from oil and gas exploitation. Oil companies are exploring the seabed off the eastern coast of Greenland, and the seismic blasting is likely harm whales and other marine life.
Oil companies use seismic equipment to map underground oil and gas reserves with airguns that emit 259 decibel blasts, a sound intensity would be perceived by humans as approximately eight times louder than a jet engine taking off. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: Arctic Ocean, energy, Environment, marine mammals, narwhals, seismic blasting | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation advocates are concerned about a proposal to explore for oil and gas in Big Cypress National Preserve.
Risky business in one of the country’s most biodiverse regions
FRISCO — No place is safe from the never-ending quest to feed modern society’s addiction to fossil fuels. One of the latest targets is Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, where Burnett Oil, of Ft. Worth, Texas, is seeking a permit to do seismic testing across approximately 110 square miles.
The National Park Service is taking comments on the proposal at this website through Aug. 16, and conservation advocates are rallying supporters to try and block or limit the proposal. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Big Cypress National Preserve, energy, Environment, Florida, oil and gas, seismic testing | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Where there is drilling, there are oil spills. Photo via U.S. Coast Guard.
Offshore wind energy projects touted as better alternative
FRISCO — Cities along the southeastern coast of the U.S. are lining up to oppose offshore fossil fuel exploitation. Earlier this week, the Morehead City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling.
The council’s resolution expresses concerns that federal plans for offshore oil and gas exploration and development threaten coastal communities, economies, fisheries and marine mammals.
The city was reacting to the Obama administration’s proposed plans to opening a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean, from Virginia to Georgia, to offshore drilling. Meanwhile, seismic airgun blasting, a process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor, is continuing to move forward in an area twice the size of California, stretching all the way from Delaware to Florida. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling, renewable energy | Tagged: energy, Environment, offshore drilling, oil spills, seismic airgun blasting | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘To fight global warming, we need real methane rules …’
FRISCO — A slew of recent studies showing how heat-trapping methane emissions have been consistently underestimated apparently didn’t have a big impact on the EPA, which has proposed a voluntary program to try and cut atmospheric methane buildup, with some mandatory regulations still in the works.
The Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program (“Methane Challenge”) (PDF) (18 pp, 512K, About PDF) would provide a new mechanism enabling oil and gas companies cto track ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions. According to the EPA, the program is based on extensive stakeholder outreach and reflects a revision of EPA’s previously proposed Gas STAR Gold framework. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate change, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Shell gets OK for exploratory drilling in the Arctic Sea.
Conditional permits limit operations and set protections for marine mammals
FRISCO — Shell’s Arctic drill plans got a green light from federal regulators today, as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued a pair of conditions permits for limited exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska.
The permits limit Shell to drilling in the top sections of wells. The company won’t be allowed to probe deep in into the oil-bearing zones until well-capping equipment is on hand and deployable within 24 hours — which still leaves enough time for thousands of gallons of crude to leak into the sensitive and pristine Arctic Ocean. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate change, energy, Environment, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: Arctic drilling, Arctic Ocean, Chukchi Sea, disaster waiting to happen, Environment, global warming, marine mammals, OilSpill, Shell Oil | 2 Comments »