Posted on March 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil train routes in the U.S. Map courtesy Center for Biological Diversity.
‘It’s painfully clear something needs to be done to protect people and the environment from the mounting dangers of these oil trains’
FRISCO — A series of common-sense steps could help reduce the risk of fiery oil train crashes, a quartet of Democratic senators said this week, introducing legislation that would remove the most dangerous tank cars from service, increase track inspections, and help better prepare first responders.
The bill would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set a national standard for the maximum volatility of oil being transported by rail, which would help prevent the massive explosions that followed recent derailments in Canada and West Virginia.
The derailments during the past few months show the risks associated with transporting crude oil by train, a practice that has increased dramatically. Five years ago, very little crude oil was hauled by the nation’s railroads. Today, more than 1.1 million barrels per day move by rail, largely originating in the Midwest. There have been four fiery derailments involving oil trains in North America since the start of February. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment | Tagged: energy, Environment, oil train crashes, oil trains, Safe Transportation and Energy Products Fund | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
No way to assess water quality impacts on a regional or national level
FRISCO — Oil and gas companies like to present fracking as benign, and, for the most part, government regulators play along. For example, a recent oil and gas task force in Colorado barely touched on the subject of groundwater impacts from fracking. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: energy, Environment, fracking, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Activist: ‘These new rules read like an oil industry wish list”
FRISCO — A set of proposed new water rules has unleashed a storm of protest in Canada, where citizen and conservation groups charge that the government is giving away the store to energy companies exploiting the tar sans of Alberta.
The updated regulatory framework sets guidelines on how much water oil sands companies can extract from the Athabasca River, and guidelines regarding the management and production of toxic tailings waste. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Alberta, Athabasca River, energy, Environment, tar sands | 2 Comments »
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 »