Posted on January 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA satellite image shows oil spreading across the Gulf of Mexico.
‘It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web …’
FRISCO — Five years after BP’s failed Deepwater Horizon drill rig spewed 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a significant amount of that oil remains buried in seafloor sediments.
A new study by a Florida State University researcher estimates that about 6 to 10 million gallons of oil are still there, perhaps decomposing slowly, but probably affecting Gulf ecosystems.
“This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come,” said researcher Jeff Chanton. “Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, and fish eat the worms. It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web,” he said. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, energy, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, Gulf of Mexico, oil spills | 1 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 »
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 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Fruitless FOIA request prompts legal action
FRISCO — The public may soon know more about offshore fracking operations in the Gulf of Mexico, as the Center for Biological Diversity sues the federal government in a quest for more transparency.
According to the lawsuit, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement must disclose permits, reports, emails and other documents related to the federal government’s approval for oil and gas companies to frack offshore wells in the Gulf. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: FOIA, fracking, freedom of information act request, Gulf of Mexico, offshore fracking | 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 »