Posted on May 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Habitat exchange scheme eyed as key component in efforts to protect dwindling western birds
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is ordering state agencies to boost greater sage-grouse conservation efforts. Photo courtesy USFWS.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling for an all-out state effort to protect greater sage-grouse by stepping up coordination among state agencies, improving habitat on state-controlled lands, and boosting the role of the state’s oil and gas commission.
The new conservation push, announced in a May 15 executive order, also outlines a market-based habitat exchange program that would let ranchers and other landowners buy and sell conservation credits to developers, including the oil and gas industry with the goal of mitigating “residual impacts” to sage-grouse habitat. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, conservation banking, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, habitat exchange, oil and gas drilling, ranching | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists say more study needed before the next big spill
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster approaches the Alabama coastline. Courtesy U.S. Navy.
FRISCO — Fallout from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is still rippling through the Gulf of Mexico — and through the scientific community studying the effects of the largest oil spill on record.
Along with 210 million gallons of crude oil that leaked from BP’s failed deep-sea well, cleanup workers applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant intended to break down the oil and prevent it from reaching the shoreline in massive quantities. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, coral reefs, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, oil drilling | Tagged: BP Gulf oil spill, Deepwater horizon oil spill, dispersants, Gulf of Mexico | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A new study raises more questions about public health risks in oil and gas development zones.
Findings confirm health risks to people living near oil and gas wells
FRISCO — Careful air sampling near active natural gas wells in Carroll County, Ohio showed the widespread presence of toxic air pollution at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.
The study reinforces the need for more extensive air quality monitoring in fracking zones around the country, where exposure to the poisonous emissions are likely to lead to increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, fracking, Ohio, oil and gas, PAHs, pollution, public health | 2 Comments »
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 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Does an oil train run through your town?
Critics say proposed phaseout is too slow
FRISCO — Just a few weeks after the Obama administration took some tentative steps to improve oil train safety, yet another such train was blasted off the rails by a massive explosion.
The latest disaster in North Dakota underscores the need for more immediate and assertive action to improve safety, according to conservation advocates like Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles.
“Again another derailment and explosion of a train carrying crude. Again another community evacuated and its people counting their blessings this didn’t happen half a mile down the track in the middle of town,” Boyles said. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, oil train explosion North Dakota, oil train safety, oil trains | 3 Comments »
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 »