Posted on March 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wind farming in the West.
Clean energy saves lives and money in the long run, reduces water demand from power sector
FRISCO — Boosting the role of wind power in the country’s energy portfolio would have significant economic, environmental and health benefits, the Department of Energy found in a new report that outlines the path needed to achieve 10 percent wind by 2020, 20 percent by 2030, and 35 by 2050.
Currently, wind power generates about 4.5 percent of the country’s energy. Reaching the 2050 goal would reduce cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, saving $400 billion in avoided global damages, the report found. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming, renewable energy | Tagged: air pollution, Environment, public health, renewables, wind energy | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas development is ‘not all puppies and flowers’
Is fracking coming to your Arapahoe County neighborhood?
FRISCO — If the next wave of fracking in Colorado sweeps toward Arapahoe County, residents will be able to better inform themselves about potential drilling sites and impacts to schools and neighborhoods thanks to a new mapping project. The maps identify areas that are leased for fossil fuel exploitation, showing where they overlap with residential areas, and where there’s potential for impacts. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: Arapahoe County, Colorado, Environment, fracking, oil and gas, public health | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Open burning of trash, as seen here in General Santos, Philippines, is a global phenomenon that has significant effects on air quality. Photo courtesy Global Environment Facility.
‘Air pollution across much of the globe is significantly underestimated because no one is tracking open-fire burning of trash’
FRISCO — As much as 1 billion metric tons of waste, including discarded plastics and electronics, is burned each year in unregulated fires, according to atmospheric scientists who set out last year to assess the impacts of trash burning.
The real amount of garbage that’s simply burned in the open probably far exceeds any official government estimates, the researchers said, adding that the practice exposes people to toxic fumes and adds to air pollution woes, especially in developing countries.
The estimate tonnage is about 41 percent of the total annual global waste stream, the study found, providing estimates, on a country-by-country basis, of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, and mercury that are emitted by the fires. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Environment | Tagged: air quality, Environment, public health, trash burning | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
EPA challenged on decision to designate polluted region as unclassifiable
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Environmental advocates and the EPA are facing off in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. today over air quality in Utah’s remote Uinta Basin, where ozone levels often exceed standards set to protect human health.
In a weird twist to the case, the fossil fuel industry is claiming that its own air pollution data is of poor quality and unreliable, and shouldn’t be used by the EPA to designate the Uinta Basin as a nonattainment area, despite the fact that the area regularly sees some of the highest ozone pollution levels in the country.
At issue in the oral arguments is the EPA’s refusal to designate the Uinta Basin as a nonattainment area despite monitoring showing serious air quality degradation in northeastern Utah. The EPA’s decision to designate the area as unclassifiable is a clear violation of the Clean Air Act, according to WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups involved in the case. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, air quality, fracking, oil and gas drilling, ozone, public health, Uinta Basin | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A spreading network of oil and gas drilling rigs has heightened public concern over potential impacts to public health and the environment.
Proposed bills would up fines, reduce perceived conflicts of interest
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With many Colorado residents feeling that Gov. Hickenlooper has tilted the playing field in favor of fossil fuel development, the Colorado General Assembly will begin to explore new laws that could help balance fossil fuel extraction with public health and safety and concerns about impacts to the environment.
House Bill 13-1267 would increase the maximum daily fine for serious accidents from $1,000 to $15,000 per day and set a minimum fine of $5,000 per violation per day for violations that have a significant adverse impact on public health, safety, or welfare, including the environment. It would also repeal the cap on the maximum total fine.
House Bill 12-1269 would make it clear that the primary mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is to make sure that public health and safety and natural resources are adequately protected during the course of fossil fuel development. It also addresses the inherent conflict of interest that currently exists on the commission by prohibiting future commissioners from being employees, officers, or directors of oil and gas companies. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, energy, Environment, fracking, House Bill 1267, House Bill 1268, House Bill 1269, Petroleum industry, public health | Leave a comment »