Posted on November 1, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.
State officials want to balance fossil fuel development with wildlife conservation
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Despite the fact fossil fuel development is devastating wildlife habitat in northwest Colorado, state officials are pressing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep greater sage-grouse off the endangered species list.
In a press release, Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s office described oil and gas drilling as “vibrant economic activities,” and touted voluntary conservation activities shaped by local stakeholders as an alternative to a federal conservation plan.
“Given the unique landscapes and natural resources in Colorado, a Colorado-based solution is more practical that one handed down by the federal government,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “We hope the Bureau of Land Management will look at the public-private partnerships that have been so successful in Colorado as a model on how to get things done.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, BLM, Colorado, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Colorado, conservation, Greater sage-grouse, oil and gas drilling, public lands, wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas drilling roads and pads spread across western Colorado like a spiderweb. Bob Berwyn photo.
Community groups challenge agency’s environmental review shortcut for project in elk habitat
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — An attempt by federal land managers to rush approval for oil and gas drilling in Colorado was thwarted by watchdog groups, who challenged the U.S. Forest Service over permits for drilling on the Gunnison National Forest.
Following an appeal by the Western Environmental Law Center, filed on behalf of Citizens for a Healthy Community, The Paonia Ranger District withdrew its earlier OK. The appeal claimed that the USFS had failed to complete mandatory site-specific environmental analysis of drilling impacts. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, US Forest Service | Tagged: energy, Environment, Gunnison National Forest, oil and gas drilling, Public land, U.S. Forest Service, Western Environmental Law Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Mule deer in winter sagebrush habitat. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they want feedback from public
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With several extensive research projects on northwest Colorado mule deer populations under way, biologists say they want to update the public on those efforts. A long-term trend of declining populations has spurred several studies, as scientists look at predation, food supplies and energy development as possible factors.
To discuss their findings so far, wildlife managers are inviting the public to a presentation with biologists, researchers and wildlife officials, Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main Street in Meeker. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado parks and wildlife, energy, hunting, Mule deer, mule deer decline, oil and gas drilling, wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Retired park rangers call on the BLM to fully adopt national leasing reforms
Mesa Verde National Park could be at risk from oil and gas drilling. NPS photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — As oil and gas drilling rigs creep closer and closer to the borders of popular national parks around the country, a passel of retired park rangers has formed a new organization to try and protect cherished resources, including view sheds, air quality and wildlife habitat.
The idea is not to stop drilling. The ex-rangers acknowledge that energy development is needed. Rather, the group wants to hold other federal agencies — primarily the BLM — accountable to national guidance that requires smart, up-front planning when it comes to drilling around parks.
“We’re really concerned about the impacts if the drilling isn’t properly planned,” said Ellis Richard, a National Park Service veteran who ended his career as acting superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument, one of the park units potentially threatened by drilling. (more…)
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Dinosaur National Monument, fracking, National Park Service, oil and gas drilling, public lands | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Should the BLM be required to release names of companies nominating parcels for oil and gas leasing?
Community groups say more transparency is needed early in leasing procedure
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Community groups in Colorado this week hailed the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to release the names of the entities who nominated the public lands in Western Colorado’s North Fork Valley for oil and gas drilling and fracking.
The agency’s decision is a win for the public and government transparency, said Jim Ramey, director of the Delta County community group Citizens for a Healthy Community.
“The BLM’s mission is to best manage public resources, not to promote an energy speculation and commodities trading industry. If drilling companies want to develop publicly-owned minerals they should say so publicly, allowing concerned citizens and affected communities to evaluate their health, safety, and environmental record,” Ramey said. (more…)
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Bureau of Land management, Colorado, fracking, oil and gas drilling, oil and gas leasing, public lands | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Draft oil and gas leasing map on the White River National Forest.
Report questions agency’s readiness for potential spills
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service needs to tighten up its oil and gas leasing program, including procedures for reporting spills and monitoring cleanups, according to a new report from the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General.
Along with illustrating weaknesses in the Forest Service’s oversight of oil and gas drilling on national forest lands, the report also noted that the agency needs to work more closely with the Bureau of Land Management to streamline the permitting process on national forest lands. (more…)
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Bureau of Land management, energy, Environment, oil and gas drilling, public lands, United States Forest Service | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 1, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
There’s a new twist in the ongoing battle over Colorado fracking regulations.
Fossil fuel industry to file counter-suit
By Snob Beerwhine
SUMMIT COUNTY — In a big turnaround from his previously held beliefs, Colorado Gov. Von Lippenschmooper announced April 1 he will sue the fossil fuel industry to try and prevent additional fracking in his backyard.
Sources say Lippenschmooper was surprised to wake up Easter morning to find drilling rigs already ensconced between the pool and the rutabaga patch. (more…)
Filed under: April Fools | Tagged: Colorado, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Longmont Colorado, Mineral rights, oil and gas drilling | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
This map shows the overlap of roadless areas and oil and gas leases in Western Colorado’s Thompson Divide area.
Withdrawal would protect some areas while honoring existing leases and create a path for buying back leases
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) says there’s overwhelming local support for his bill to resolve management of the 221,000-acre Thompson Divide, where conservation groups have long sought protection from potential oil and gas development.
According to Bennet, his bill would protects the land and local economies tied to it from future energy development, while also acknowledging and respecting the rights of current leaseholders.
“This bill to manage the pristine Thompson Divide area reflects the voices of stakeholders and Coloradans in the surrounding communities who live, work, and recreate in the area and rely on it for their livelihoods,” Bennet said in a statement. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, Michael Bennet, oil and gas drilling, public lands, Thompson Divide | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Officials say a “hydrocarbon” plume of underground pollution hasn’t yet threatened Parachute Creek, four miles north of Parachute, in western Colorado.
Possible oil spill may be getting close to groundwater in the area
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — State, local and federal officials are tracking a mysterious underground plume of what they are calling “hydrocarbon” pollution near Parachute, Colorado.
The pollution was first reported March 6 during construction activities in the area and confirmed March 16 by the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association, which said in a prepared release that Parachute Creek has not been impacted and that there are no known threats to health and safety.
The construction activities involved locating underground pipelines – a standard safety practice prior to construction. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, oil and gas drilling, Parachute Colorado, Parachute Creek, pollution | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Better pollution control technology needed to cut VOC emissions
Monitoring sites in the Uinta Basin.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Ongoing studies of winter ozone formation in the Uinta Basin shows the need for better pollution control technology on oil and gas drilling rigs and other equipment used for fossil fuel development.
An emissions inventory developed for the study found that oil and gas operations are responsible for 98-99 percent of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and for 57-61 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions. VOCs and nitrogen compounds are the key ingredients for ozone-laced smog, which has been clearly identified as a human health threat. (more…)
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Environment, fossil fuels, oil and gas drilling, Ozone formation, Uinta Basin, Utah, VOC, Volatile organic compound | Leave a Comment »