Oil and Gas

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it proposes closing nearly all of the Thompson Divide to future leasing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Colorado State Capitol Building
Flickr.com/chocolatedisco

With the dust from the election finally settling, all eyes are on the next legislative session.  To figure out what exactly is on the horizon, KVNF's Jake Ryan talked with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland.

Bente believes the biggest issue facing the legislature will be the topic of oil and gas.  The Governor's task force will be giving suggestions, but the impact they will have is unknown.  With a divided legislature, gun control will come up but she doubts any changes to the existing laws will happen. 
 

The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry have reached an agreement on a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau. The new plan cancels 17 out of 19 oil and gas leases that were issued in 2008. Two previous leases at the top of the plateau, and a dozen at the base will remain in place.

"These measures allow us to protect the plateau but harness some of the energy resources," said Governor John Hickenlooper.

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.

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."

A few weeks ago, we reported on a US Geological Survey study that looked at the connection between the injection of produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, and earthquakes in the Raton Basin in southern Colorado. 

North Fork Valley
Laura Palmisano

The United States is the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer. North Dakota and Texas are experiencing an oil boom. And many other states are seeing natural gas production increase through hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado has nearly 53,000 active wells. But, the state’s energy boom is a source of tension. 

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Think of California's Santa Barbara County and you might picture the area's famous beaches or resorts and wineries. But in the northern reaches of the vast county, oil production has been a major contributor to the economy for almost a century.

So it's no surprise that the oil industry there is feverishly organizing to fight a local ballot initiative — Measure P — that would ban controversial drilling methods such as hydraulic fracturing. What is turning heads, however, is the sheer volume of money flooding into this local race, mainly from large oil companies.

University of Colorado Boulder

There’s a recent study out of University of Colorado Boulder. 

After four years in office Governor John Hickenlooper is facing the toughest campaign of his political career. A recent poll from The Denver Post shows his race against Republican former Congressman Bob Beauprez statistically tied. What's more, Beauprez is also making gains on Hickenlooper in the Denver metro area and in rural Colorado.

Copyright 2014 KUNC-FM. To see more, visit http://kunc.org.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jake Ryan

Last weekend, conservationists, students, and volunteers were spread out across the North Fork area, collecting water samples.  KVNF’s Jake Ryan found out why.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced a last-minute compromise to avert a costly political battle over oil and gas drilling. As Dan Boyce of Inside Energy reports, the deal is meant to find a solution to disputes related to fracking — but it also serves the political interests of Colorado Democrats.

In a news conference Monday Governor John Hickenlooper, alongside Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and other supporters, announced a deal on local control for oil and gas, heading off a showdown on the November ballot.

"Hello. Are you registered to vote in Colorado?"

It's a refrain many in the state have grown to loathe this summer — heard outside their favorite grocery store or shopping mall as signature gatherers race toward an Aug. 4 deadline to put four energy-related measures on the November ballot.

With two of those measures backed by environmentalists, and the other two by industry-supported groups, all of the energy talk is leading to confusion among potential voters.

Governor John Hickenlooper has formally pulled the plug on the possibility of a special legislation session to consider stricter rules for the oil and gas industry. Hickenlooper said there weren't enough stakeholders on board for a bipartisan solution.

Wednesday night, the Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance held a meeting in Parachute. 

Loveland voters will soon become the sixth Front Range community to weigh restrictions on hydraulic fracturing. The June 24, 2014 special election asks voters to decide whether to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking, the process of pumping sand, water and chemicals that are proprietary to oil companies into the ground to extract resources.

allvail.com

The White River National Forest is working toward the final stages of updating its oil and gas plan. 

Headlines

  • Avalanche Near Vail Kills One, Injures Three
  • Snowpack Levels Off to Better Start than Last Year
  • New Medical Marijuana Licenses on hold in Pitkin County
  • Oil & Gas Groups Say New Rules will be costly
  • Telluride Foundation Awards Millions in Grants

Headlines:

  • State Lawmakers Face Tough Political Climate Next Session
  • Authorities Still Waiting on Answers from Well Leak
  • Aspen-area Eco-Flights Highlight Regional Environmental Issues

Headlines:

  • State Democratic Leaders Won't Push Major Policy Changes
  • Grand Junction Airport Investigation Continues as Lawsuit is Filed
  • Colorado Issues First Ever Retail Pot Licenses
  • Colorado State University Researchers Take Part in Oil & Gas Studies

Headlines:

  • Civil Suit Filed against GJ Airport Administration
  • Grand Mesa Plane Crash Victims Were Looking for Lost Cattle
  • Future of Pot Shops in Mountain Village Still Undecided
  • Ouray Residents to weigh in on City Administrator's Performance
  • Future of Mining & Drilling Uncertain Across Western Slope
  • State Economy Has Some Bright Clouds

Headlines

  • Wreck on Stewart Mesa Kills One
  • Garfield County Asks Hickenlooper to Intervene on Healthcare Rules
  • Man Shot on Orchard Mesa Was wanted by State Authorities
  • State Oil and Gas Officials Looking Into Spill in Mesa County
  • State Tightens Spill Reporting Requirements
  • Volunteers Gather for Kids' Christmas Party in the North Fork

Colorado is beefing up requirements for reporting oil and gas spills. The new rule would require energy companies to report spills that are over 1 barrel or 42 gallons.

Headlines:

  • Orchard Mesa Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting
  • Encana Says It Will Suspend Drilling in Piceance Basin Next Year
  • Higher-Than-Average Snowfal Increases Avalanche Risk
  • Governor Hickenlooper Visits Victim of Araphoe School Shooting
  • Evie Hudak Replacement Takes Office

Colorado’s energy industry trade group is now involved on three fronts with lawsuits over voter approved fracking bans or moratoriums. The latest move involved the announcement of suits against Lafayette and Fort Collins.  

Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

There’s a small army of citizen scientists in the North Fork Valley. Residents in the Paonia area are donning special backpacks for twenty-four hours at a time, to collect real time data for scientific study of air pollution.  The aim is to measure what might be getting into the air from nearby oil and gas wells.

Headlines

  • Hickenlooper visits Craig & Rifle, Calls for Compromise on Greater Sage Grouse
  • DMEA Expects Hydroelectric Upgrades to Increase Efficiency, Save Money
  • Business Leaders Across State Call for Quick Immigration Reform
  • Looking at the Challenges of Sourcing Food Locally with Joel Salatin

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