Energy

NEWS
9:16 am
Thu May 7, 2015

For Rural Colorado, Stability Of Severance Taxes Is Always In Flux

The red brick streets in the historic downtown of Trinidad.

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:19 am

As a result of Colorado's booming oil production, energy companies are paying more in severance taxes – money they pay the state for taking minerals out of the ground. Half of it is supposed to go to back to local communities, both directly and through grants. But thanks to market forces – and political conditions in Denver – it's not always a stable source of funding.

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NPR Story
9:10 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Office Of Consumer Counsel's Future Hinges On Debate In The Final Day Of The Session

KUNC File Photo

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:20 pm

The debate over continuing the Office of Consumer Counsel won't be decided until the final day of the state's annual legislative session. The Office represents taxpayers when utility and telecom companies go to the state to ask for rate hikes. Without Senate Bill 271 [.pdf], the Office of Consumer Counsel would sunset and go away altogether.

Determining the scope of the office's role though has been contentious.

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NEWS
11:43 am
Thu April 16, 2015

DMEA Forum Focuses On FERC Petition And Broadband

An example of fiber optic cable shown at a meeting in Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta Montrose Electric Association is a cooperative meaning its customers are its owners.

DMEA wants to hear what its consumers think about its desire to purchase more locally produced energy and it potentially entering the internet service game. 

Two months ago, DMEA filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

"What we are asking FERC to rule on is to declare Tri-State a public utility which would allow us then to enter into agreements with qualifying facilities,"  DMEA CEO Jasen Bronec says.

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NEWS
5:57 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

As Schuller Steps Down, What's Ahead For Colorado's Energy Industry?

Tisha Schuller, the current executive in charge of the state's trade organization for oil and gas has accounced her departure from the position.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 7:59 am

The executive director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Tisha Schuller, recently announced that she's leaving the state's largest trade organization for the energy industry.

In a statement released by COGA, Schuller said it was a "wild ride" and that she was honored to have represented the state's oil industry. While remaining in her position until the end of May, Schuller sat down to talk about the future of the industry and why she decided to leave her position.

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NEWS
1:42 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Washington State County Unsure If It Can Take Wave Of North Dakota Crude

Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp stands on the docks as tribal crabbers unload their catch. The tribe has vowed to fight the oil train-to-ship terminals proposed for Grays Harbor.
Ashley Ahearn KUOW

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 12:42 pm

Oil companies in North Dakota are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get their product to refineries, and they've set their sights on moving more of their product by rail to the Northwest.

There are six new oil terminals proposed for Washington state. Half of them could be built in the small communities around Grays Harbor, a bay on the Pacific coast about 50 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River.

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NEWS
2:51 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

With Quakes Spiking, Oil Industry Is Under The Microscope In Oklahoma

A functioning oil rig sits in front of the capital building in Oklahoma City, Okla. The oil industry is an important employer in the state, but officials are concerned a technique used to dispose of wastewater from oil extraction is behind a surge in earthquakes here.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 10:24 am

Out on Oklahoma's flat prairie, Medford, population about 900, is the kind of place where people give directions from the four-way stop in the middle of town.

It seems pretty sedate, but it's not. "We are shaking all the time," says Dea Mandevill, the city manager. "All the time."

The afternoon I stopped by, Mandevill says two quakes had already rumbled through Medford.

"Light day," she laughs. But, she adds, "the day's not over yet; we still have several more hours."

Mandevill may be laughing it off, but Austin Holland, the state seismologist, isn't.

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NEWS
5:30 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Bill To Boost Renewable Energy In Colorado Schools

A bill by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, seeks to give grants to schools for alternative energy projects.
Credit flickr/theentiremikey

A bill that seeks to give grants to schools for alternative energy projects will be taken up by a state Senate committee next week. 

A federally funded program that started in 2007 gave grants to public school for wind energy projects. In Colorado 16 schools took advantage of it. 

The money for that program has since dried up, but a bill introduced by Democratic State Senator Kerry Donovan of District 5 seeks to revive it at the local level. 

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POLITICS
9:21 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

State Of The State Is 'Strong' As Hickenlooper Outlines 2015 Plans

Stephen Butler Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:38 pm

Governor John Hickenlooper received a warm reception from lawmakers in both parties during his annual State of the State Address. The Governor talked about policies he wants the legislature to adopt, announced a few new initiatives and urged lawmakers to face facts about the challenges facing Colorado.

During his roughly 45-minute speech Hickenlooper highlighted many of his budget proposals, such as giving more money to higher education and K-12 schools. He also pledged to look at ways to creatively fund roads and bridges, and threw his support behind a felony DUI law. Colorado is one of four states without one.

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NEWS
8:08 am
Fri December 26, 2014

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Newscast

  • Holiday Travel Advisories
  • Hammond's Candy Creates Iconic Candy Canes In Denver
  • Colo. GOP Now Control Senate, A Look At How Dem. Plan To Regroup
  • Helping Colorado Dairymen Lighten Your Milk's Energy Load
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AGRICULTURE
1:15 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Helping Colorado Dairymen Lighten Your Milk's Energy Load

Dairyman Jim McClay in front of his cows.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 11:57 am

What comes to mind when you think about milk? Like it or loathe it, you probably associate it with cereal, Oreos and milk mustaches. One thing you probably don't think about? Energy.

It turns out, it takes a lot of energy to make a gallon of milk. Recently, a few Colorado dairymen have been working to lighten their milk's energy load.

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ECONOMY
6:00 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Forum Explores The Future Of The North Fork Valley

The Hive Paonia and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum exploring the economy of the North Fork Valley.
Credit Laura Palmisano

About 100 people attended a forum on the North Fork Valley's economy and what can be done to improve it. 

Thirteen people ranging from the president of a coal mine to the head of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce spoke at the forum held at the Hive Paonia. 

"We have our farms," says Alexis Halbert, president of the chamber. "We have our hunting resources. We have are restaurants, wineries, [and] people who are creating things out of the natural assets of the valley."

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ENVIRONMENT
4:38 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: The Senate voted against completing the Keystone pipeline.

The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long — just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.

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ENVIRONMENT
3:22 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Low Gas Prices Haven't Slowed Domestic Drilling — Yet

Lower oil prices, while good for the economy, are a threat to what has been a dramatic surge in oil production in the U.S.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 1:22 pm

It's lunchtime in Douglas, Wyo., a town smack in the middle of the state's booming oil patch, and the line of cars at the McDonald's drive-through wraps around the building. A hiring poster hangs in the window, and the parking lot is full.

Troy Hilbish, a tool hand for the oil field servicing company Schlumberger, says while he didn't know oil prices have been falling, he does know what falling prices mean.

"If the oil prices go up, we drill more," Hilbish says. "If they go down, we don't drill as much."

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ENVIRONMENT
11:48 am
Fri October 10, 2014

U.S. Energy Boom Spurs Massive Demand For New Pipelines

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 4:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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ENVIRONMENT
12:12 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Scientist Amory Lovins Talks Energy

Physicist and environmental scientist Amory Lovins has worked in the field of energy policy for over 40 years. He speaks with  KVNF's  Jake Ryan about the changing energy landscape around the world.

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ENVIRONMENT
4:18 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access

Vera Cole is president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a group arguing against proposed rules in Pennsylvania that would put stricter limits on how much grid-connected solar power homeowners can produce on their property.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 11:46 am

The solar power business is growing quickly in the U.S. More than 500,000 homeowners and businesses installed solar panels in just the first half of this year, according to a Solar Energy Industries Association report.

When people get electricity from the sun, they don't buy it from their local power company. But that utility still must have the generators and power lines to provide electricity when the sun is not shining. That's creating conflicts across the country.

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NEWS
2:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:50 pm

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

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NEWS
12:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

"Uranium Drive-In" Tells Story of Struggling But Hopeful West End

The proposed uranium mill would be located in Colorado's Paradox Valley in western Montrose county, but as for now Energy Fuels has no plans to move forward with the project.
Credit San Juan Huts Day 5 via Flickr (CC BY-SA)

Residents from Montrose County’s West End recently gathered for a screening of “Uranium Drive-In,” a documentary that tells the story of the ill-fated Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill, and a tight-knit community desperate for jobs and some hint of a brighter economy.

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NEWS
9:17 am
Thu January 2, 2014

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, January 2, 2013

Headlines

  • Denver Post Hires Marijuana Editor, Launches Pot Website
  • Boulder District Attorney Discusses Future of Industry
  • DMEA Customers to See Rate Increase This Year, San Miguel Power Association Rates to Hold Steady
NEWS
10:18 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Connecting the Drops: Hydropower on the Colorado River

The Shoshone hydroelectric powerplant holds the largest historic water right on the Colorado River.
Credit Maeve Conran

A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state.  Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players.  But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old.  It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.

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