Posted on May 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation groups say Arctic oil disaster nearly inevitable
Is Shell Arctic-ready?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In a decision heralding all but certain disaster for Arctic ecosystems, the federal government today approved the basic outlines of Shell’s proposed multi-year offshore oil exploration plan in the Chukchi Sea.
Using two vessels, the giant oil company wants to drill up to six wells in an area known as the Burger Prospect, more than 140-feet deep, about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright.
The approval came just two years after the Department of Interior found that Shell tried to rush into its offshore drilling program without being “fully prepared in terms of fabricating and testing certain critical systems and establishing the scope of its operational plans.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Arctic drilling, energy, Environment, oil spills, Shell | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Fracking substances found almost two miles away from faulty drilling operation
FRISCO — Scientists in Pennsylvania said they’ve been able to track pollution from fracking as the source of contamination in drinking water wells more than 1 mile from the fracked shale gas wells.
The stray natural gas and wastewater moved laterally along shallow to intermediate depth fractures to the source of the homes’ well water. The chemicals foamed from water faucets in three homes near a reported well-pad leak. The homes were sold to the gas company as part of a legal settlement in 2012, but scientists received samples before the transfer.
Previous studies had not been able to identify the cause of the foaming, but the new analysis found a chemical compound, 2-BE, and an unidentified complex mixture of organic contaminants, both commonly seen in flowback water from Marcellus shale activity. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, water, water quality | Tagged: drinking water, energy, Environment, fracking, Marcellus shale, pollution, public health, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Formal protest says BLM violated planning regulations
Thousands of new fossil fuel wells could take a toll on wildlife in northwest Colorado.
FRISCO — Conservation and wildlife advocacy groups are protesting a new federal plan that covers oil and gas drilling and fracking in the northwestern Corner of Colorado.
The recently published resource management plan amendment for Bureau of Land Management’s White River Field Office failed to meet legal requirements because it didn’t consider special areas of environmental concern, the groups wrote in their formal April 27 protest letter. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: BLM, BLM White River field office, Colorado, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Piceance Basin, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado AG claims BLM regs ‘invade’ state authority
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO —Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is challenging the federal government’s ability to regulate oil and gas development on federal public lands in the state. In a quiet Friday news dump, Coffman announced her department is suing the federal government over new fracking rules issued in March.
The lawsuit claims the federal rules “invade” the state’s regulatory authority, a similar argument over jurisdiction used by Gov. Hickenlooper and his administration when they sued a local jurisdiction that sought to impose fracking rules in a case that has since been dismissed. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Colorado, Environment, fracking, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Seismic airgun blasting, naval warfare training are key sources of harmful ocean noise pollution
FRISCO — With ever more offshore oil and gas exploration proposed, conservation advocates have been warning that the cumulative effects of those activities will take a huge toll on dolphins, whales and other marine life.
Of particular concern are plans to ramp up seismic underwater airgun blasting, used in the search for oil and gas deposits beneath the seafloor. Federal officials recently adopted a final proposal that would allow the use of this controversial technology in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: dolphins, marine mammals, Noise pollution, ocean noise, oceans, seismic airgun blasting | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Settlement with EPA, state health department should cut emissions of smog- and cancer-causing toxic gases
Smoggy skies. Photo courtesy NREL.
FRISCO — For years, thousands of storage tanks owned and operated by Houston-based Noble Energy leaked toxic smog- and cancer-causing gases into the Colorado’s heavily fracked Front Range.
When when state and federal environmental inspectors confronted the company with evidence of the leaks, executives shrugged, and said their systems weren’t designed to handle the sudden oil and gas boom across the region. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Colorado, Environment, EPA, fracking, smog, VOCs | Leave a comment »
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 »