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
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 »
Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A spike in Oklahoma earthquake activity has been linked with the injection of wastewater from oil and gas development.
Better seismic monitoring needed to reduce risks in vulnerable communities
FRISCO — Government and university scientists say better data and more transparency could help reduce the hazard of earthquakes caused by the deep injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling and fracking operations.
Careful monitoring around injection wells and full access to information on the injection volumes and rates could help project seismic activity, the scientists reported. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: earthquakes, energy, fracking, fracking earthquakes, fracking wastewater injection, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In some gas fields, leak rates appear close to official estimates
Researchers try to quantify methane leakage in natural gas fields.
FRISCO — Boulder-based researchers have used thousands of detailed measurements taken during overflights to take a nuanced look at methane leaks from natural gas fields.
The findings show methane leaking at the rate of tens of thousands of pounds per hour in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there — lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, Natural gas, oil and gas | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Congressman Jared Polis.
Colorado lawmaker expected to be a pro-environment voice on a panel led conservative Republicans who often undermine federal efforts to manage public lands on the behalf of all Americans
FRISCO — A languishing proposal to create new wilderness areas in the Colorado mountains may get a boost in Congress this year, as U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) joins the House Natural Resources Committee.
In the last two years, the committee has been a bastion of anti-government rhetoric, in some cases considering bills that would significantly weaken protection for natural resources and public lands. As a member of the minority, Polis won’t be able to get any meaningful legislation passed on his own, but his pro-environmental voice will be a welcome addition for public lands advocates. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, energy, Environment, forests, Hidden Gems wilderness, national parks, public lands, US Forest Service, wilderness | Tagged: energy, House Natural Resources Committee, Jared Polis, public lands, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Drillers say restrictions will hinder exploitation of new shale plays to the detriment of local communities
Most oil and gas development on the White River National Forest is limited to the far western zones in areas where drilling is already common.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Even though the vast majority of public lands in the West are already open for fossil fuel exploitation, oil and gas companies want more.
In their latest push for more drilling, three fracking industry lobbying groups are challenging the White River National Forest’s oil and gas drilling plan, claiming that the agency’s analysis was marred by politics, as elected officials pushed to have the Thompson Divide area excluded from energy development.
In their formal objection to the plan, the groups ( Western Energy Alliance, West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association and Public Lands Advocacy) the groups said that, as written, the document could prevent the development of speculative new plays in Mancos and Niobrara shale formations in western Colorado. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, US Forest Service | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, public lands, U.S. Forest Service, White River National Forest | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. lagging when it comes to ocean wind farms
Incentives needed to spur investment.
FRISCO — When it comes to offshore wind energy, the U.S. is still a midget compared to countries like Denmark or Germany. But that could change in the coming years with the lease of more than 350,000 acres of ocean off the coast of Massachusetts.
Building offshore wind turbines near densely populated areas is critical, and the new leases could help spur a boom in the U.S. The lease sale is the largest ever in federal waters, and federal officials say the area could generate up to two gigawatts of commercial offshore wind energy, Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: energy, Environment, offshore wind energy leasing, Offshore wind power, renewables | 2 Comments »