Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Settlement with EPA, state health department should cut emissions of smog- and cancer-causing toxic gases
Smoggy skies. Photo courtesy NREL.
FRISCO — For years, thousands of storage tanks owned and operated by Houston-based Noble Energy leaked toxic smog- and cancer-causing gases into the Colorado’s heavily fracked Front Range.
When when state and federal environmental inspectors confronted the company with evidence of the leaks, executives shrugged, and said their systems weren’t designed to handle the sudden oil and gas boom across the region. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Colorado, Environment, EPA, fracking, smog, VOCs | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Global methane leaks totaled 3.5 trillion cubic feet in 2012
*More Summit Voice stories on methane
FRISCO — Reducing methane leakage from drilling sites, pipelines and storage tanks represents a huge low-cost opportunity in the battle to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report that says 3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas — worth about $30 billion — escaped from oil and gas sector operations in 2012.
The majority of oil and gas methane leakage comes from a handful of countries, with the top seven emitting countries responsible for over half of the global total in 2012. Despite the huge scale of the methane loss, very few have taken steps to regulate leakage from the oil and gas sector, or set specific goals to reduce emissions in the future. But the benefits of doing so would be considerable, according to the report.
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, Natural gas, oil and gas | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Keystone Policy Center calls for creation of new entity to resolve local control questions
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Resolving issues associated with oil and gas development in Colorado requires an ongoing dialogue, according to the Keystone Policy Center, which last week urged Governor John Hickenlooper and state legislative leaders to continue the work of the oil and gas task force that tried to tackle the thorny question of local versus state control.
The Keystone Policy Center facilitated the efforts of the task force, which recently submitted a list of recommendations to the state in its final report. Some of recommendations could be addressed as part of the state budgeting process, while others may result in new rules from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Christine Scanlan, Colorado, Colorado Oil and gas task force, Doug Young, fracking, Gov. John Hickenooper, Keystone Policy Center, local control, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘State-of-the-art research focused on the Four Corners area is vital to the understanding of greenhouse gas emissions and potential mitigation options’
FRISCO — When orbiting satellites identified a methane hotspot over the Four Corners region, it made headlines all over the world — a sure sign, it seems, that our insatiable quest for fossil fuels has a global footprint.
Next week, residents of the region will have a chance to learn more about how various agencies are looking at methane and other pollution issues associated with fracking during a forum hosted by the Four Corners Air Quality Group. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, energy, Environment, fracking, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Four Corners, fracking, methane, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Methane found in stream near faulty Pennsylvania natural gas well
FRISCO — Gathering baseline water quality data from streams in fracking zones could help pinpoint impacts to drinking water, researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Geological Survey said after finding high levels of methane in a Pennsylvania stream.
Multiple samples from the stream, Sugar Run in Lycoming County, showed a groundwater inflow of thermogenic methane, consistent with what would be found in shale gas. The samples came from an area near the site of a reported Marcellus shale gas well leak. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: Environment, fracking, Marcellus Shale gas, methane, water quality | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
What will it take to ensure the survival of these rare Colorado wildflowers?
Lawsuit says voluntary conservation deal is a “giveaway” to fossil fuel companies
FRISCO — Conservation advocates say a voluntary agreement to protect two rare plants growing in crumbly shale badlands along the border of northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah is a sham.
Instead, the plants need the rock-solid protection of the Endangered Species Act, and they’re going back to court to get it. The new lawsuit filed in federal court is supported by public records showing that the voluntary conservation agreement purposefully excluded wildflower habitat from protection to accommodate oil shale mining and drilling. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, fracking, Graham's beardtongue, oil shale, public lands, White River beardtongue | Leave a comment »
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 »