Posted on September 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world. Photo courtesy BLM.
Federal court order also voids part of Colorado roadless rule for National Forest lands
FRISCO — Arch Coal and the U.S. Forest Service will have to start from scratch before they plan any new mining activities in a roadless area near Paonia.
A federal judge this week vacated existing federal approvals for an exploration plan, for lease modifications and a site-specific exemption to the Colorado Roadless Rule, seen by conservation groups as a blatant give-away to the fossil fuel industry.
This week’s order follows up on a June ruling, when U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson said the U.S. Forest Service failed to account for the costs of carbon pollution associated with any new mining activities. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon polliution, climate change, coal mining, Colorado, fossil fuels, NEPA | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
From the air, it’s clear how far fracking impacts have spread on to the remote mesas of western Colorado and eastern Utah. bberwyn photo.
Stakeholder group may draft recommendations for state legislature on local control; community conservation groups feel left out of ‘secret’ deal
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A new commission formed to address fracking concerns will be able to make recommendations to the Colorado Legislature on issues related to local control over industrial fossil fuel extraction. But so far, the group doesn’t have a timetable or any other specific targets.
Governor John Hickenlooper announced the 18-member group and called for withdrawal of various fracking-related ballot measures. The environmental community has indicated it will withdraw its ballot initiative, which would have clarified the rights of local communities to regulate potentially harmful fracking, said Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project Director Bruce Baizel. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, energy environment, fossil fuels, fracking, fracking commission | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Impacts likely to persist for decades
Oil: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
FRISCO — Oil-eating microbes in the Gulf of Mexico may have helped break down some of the pollution from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, but some of the most toxic constituents of BP’s oil probably remain, most likely at the bottom of the sea.
Two new Florida State University studies in a deep sea oil plume found found that a species of bacteria called Colwellia likely consumed gaseous hydrocarbons and perhaps benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene compounds that were released as part of the oil spill — but not the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are a group of semi-volatile organic compounds that are present in crude oil and can cause long-term health problems such as cancer. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, energy, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, fossil fuels, Gulf of Mexico, PAHs | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Investigators also eye possible permit violations at Weld County site
More #fracking ahead?
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FRISCO — State regulators have reauthorized operations at a Weld County wastewater injection well after determining that the well may be linked with earthquakes in the area. State officials will also investigate whether the well operators violated their permit by pumping too much drilling sludge into the well.
“We are proceeding with great care, and will be tracking activities at this site closely,” said Matt Lepore, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. “We’re moving slowly and deliberately as we determine the right course for this location,” Lepore said, explaining that new limits on the well are aimed easing the potential for more earthquakes. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: #oilandgas, energy, Environment, fossil fuels | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More coal mining equals more ozone
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.
FRISCO — Federal officials may have failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of more coal mining in northwestern Colorado, according a conservation group that’s suing the Bureau of Land Management over an expansion permit for the Deserado coal mine, located in Rio Blanco County in northwestern Colorado directly south of Dinosaur National Monument.
The mine fuels the 500-megawatt Bonanza power plant, located 30 miles west in Uintah County, Utah. The mine and the power plant are connecte by a dedicated electric train.
According to WildEarth Guardians, the BLM failed to address air quality impacts from fossil fuel combustion from the Bonanza facility. The group said regional air quality monitoring shows continued violations of ozone. According to the lawsuit, the mine expansion would mean that the Bonanza power plant would continue to operate for another 16 percent years — too long in the context of climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas drilling roads and pads are spreading into remote backcountry areas of Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Cancer-causing chemicals escaping from fossil fuel facilities by the ton
FRISCO — Colorado communities looking to regulate the toxic and dangerous impacts of oil and gas drilling may not get any help from Gov. John Hickenlooper, but they may get some backup from a huge coalition of environmental groups that have petitioned the EPA for limits on oil and gas wells and associated equipment in population centers around the U.S.
As thousands of new wells are drilled across the U.S. every day, some studies suggest that at least 100,000 tons per year of hazardous air pollution from oil and gas well sites — including benzene, formaldehyde, and naphthalene — are escaping into the atmosphere. These pollutants have been linked to respiratory and neurological problems, birth defects, and cancer. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Environment, fossil fuels, fracking, oil and gas drilling | 1 Comment »