Posted on March 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Master leasing plan aims to protect Dinosaur National Monument
Can a master leasing protect cherished public resources around Dinosaur National Monument?
An aerial view of the Dinosaur National Monument entrance road. Photo courtesy EcoFlight.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A new master leasing plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management for public lands surrounding northwestern Colorado’s Dinosaur National Monument aims to reduce oil and gas drilling impacts to wildlife, archaeological treasures and other resources in the region.
The plan could work if it’s implemented effectively, according to some public land watchdog groups, but doesn’t do much to address the larger issue of trying to move away from fossil fuels.
In fact, the agency expects oil and gas drilling to increase in the area, so the study that forms the basis for the plan evaluated impacts associated with the potential development of more than 15,000 oil and gas wells drilled on 1,100 well pads over the next 20 years. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, BLM, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Bureau of Land management, Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, fracking, master leasing plan, oil and gas drilling, Piceance Basin | 1 Comment »
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
Sage grouse don’t much like these drilling rigs.
Wyoming greater sage-grouse populations down 60 percent in last few years
FRISCO — Conservation advocates say proposed new oil and gas leases on 89,000 acres in northwestern Wyoming would devastate greater sage-grouse in the region by permitting industrial operations in some of the birds’ most important nesting and rearing habitat.
In a comment letter to the federal government, the Center for Biological Diversity wrote that, even sage grouse have declined 60 percent over six years in Wyoming, the plan repeatedly ignores federal scientists’ recommendations for protecting these prairie birds from fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: fracking, Greater sage-grouse, oil and gas, public lands, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
BLM rejects request for orderly master leasing plan
The BLM’s new management plan for the Tres Rios area is spurring criticism.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Residents and elected officials in southwest Colorado say a new management plan for a vast swath of public lands in the region favors oil and gas companies over community interests.
According to critics, the BLM Tres Rios land resource management plan would allow drilling near the edge of Mesa Verde National Park, adding to near-critical air pollution woes and disturbing important wildlife areas.
Most importantly, the federal agency ignored requests by local governments to ensure the orderly and safe development of fossil fuels. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, BLM, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: Colorado, Cortez, energy, Environment, fracking, Mesa Verde, national parks, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A Colorado oil and gas task force gave the greenlight for #fracking business as usual this week.
Watered down task force recommendations unlikely to avert statewide fracking ballot measure
FRISCO — Colorado towns and neighborhoods that want to protect themselves from toxic air and water pollution generated by fracking operations are gearing up for a long march toward the 2016 ballot box after a state task force failed to fully back any meaningful measures to strengthen local government control over oil and gas operations. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, fracking, local control, oil and gas task force | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter.
Fracking industry, Hickenlooper keen to avoid ballot showdown
FRISCO — A Colorado panel convened to address controversy over the giant industrial fracking facilities springing up near communities will hold its final meetings this week and try to agree on a final list of recommendations aimed at protecting residents from the harmful impacts of oil and gas development.
The 21-member panel will discuss 35 proposals, including some that could lead to new rulemaking by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission or potentially even new legislation. Audio from meeting at the Colorado Convention Center will be streamed live via a link at the task force website starting about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday (Feb. 24). Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado Oil and gas task force, energy, Environment, fracking | Leave a comment »