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 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The White House and Congress are set to clash over the Keystone XL pipeline.
Court rulings, State Department decision still pending on controversial fossil fuel project
FRISCO — Republicans in Congress may be falling all over themselves in their haste to please the fossil fuel industry by passing a bill seeking to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, but the White House is saying not so fast.
This week, the Obama administration signaled that it won’t sign a pipeline bill, which would “circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines serve the national interest,” and “cut short consideration of important issues relevant to the national interest,” according to a White House statement. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Barack Obama, energy, Environment, fossil fuels, global warming, Keystone XL pipeline veto, tar sands | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 7, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.
New study says most existing reserves must remain unused to prevent catastrophic climate change
FRISCO — While frackers and drillers are trying to squeeze every last drop of fossil fuel out of the ground as fast as they can, that path won’t help meet worldwide goals of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius.
To prevent catastrophic runaway climate change, humankind must leave a third of all existing oil reserves, half of the planet’s gas reserves and more than 80 percent of current coal reserves in the ground, according to new research by the University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, energy, Energy development, Environment, fossil fuel reserves | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Big fined levied for wind turbine eagle deaths.
Company failed to avoid risks to protected birds
FRISCO — A Portland, Oregon-based wind energy company operating in Wyoming will pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $2.5 million for the death of protected birds at wind turbine facilities in Carbon and Converse Counties. The two wind projects are comprised of 237 large wind turbines sited on private and company-owned land.
PacifiCorp Energy, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, Oregon, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The company is also on a five-year probation and must implement an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in the state. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, energy, biodiversity, renewable energy | Tagged: Environment, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbines, bird deaths | 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 »
Posted on December 31, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Legal challenge says rare wildflowers in northwestern Colorado face threat from fossil fuel development despite voluntary conservation deal
A patchwork of conservation areas may not be enough to protect rare Colorado wildflowers from extinction as fossil fuel exploitation broadens in the Green River Basin.
The rare Graham’s penstemon grows primarily in the oil and gas patches of western Colorado and Utah. Photo courtesy Susan Meyer.
FRISCO — The fate of two rare plants in western Colorado and eastern Utah will likely once again rest in the hands of a federal judge, as a coalition of conservation groups said they will sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to deny Endangered Species Act protection to the White River and Graham’s beardtongue.
The plants grow only across a few thousand acres, scattered across the same badlands where fossil fuel drillers are expanding their footprint. A voluntary conservation deal between the USFWS and the Bureau of Land Management, adopted last summer, doesn’t go far enough to protect the plants, conservation advocates said in their formal notice of intent to sue. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, wildflowers | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, fossil fuels, oil shale impacts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, White River and Graham’s beardtongue | Leave a comment »