The Home Front: Methane leaks from oil and gas industry ‘offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas,’ study says

“The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year – nearly 60 percent more than current estimates and enough to offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science,” reports The Durango Herald. “The higher volumes of natural gas leaking from across the industry’s supply chain would be enough to fuel 10 million homes and would be worth an estimated $2 billion, the researchers said. The study, led by Environmental Defense Fund researchers and including 19 co-authors from 15 institutions, estimated that the current leak rate from U.S. oil and gas operations is 2.3 percent, significantly higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s current estimate of 1.4 percent.”

“Glenwood Springs saw a significant drop during April in the city’s most lucrative source of sales tax dollars — general merchandise stores,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Since 2014, in the month of April alone, general merchandise stores — which includes the large national retail stores — in Glenwood Springs have earned the city $1,038,673 in sales tax.”

“Brittany Dick was getting into her car to go for a run outside her home in Elk River Estates when she saw an uncommon site in Routt County — a funnel cloud,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The funnel cloud was just forming above North Routt County. “I had never seen a funnel cloud before, honestly, even growing up in the Midwest. So, I actually got my roommate outside and asked him ‘Is that a funnel cloud?'” she said.”

“Investigators on Sunday worked to determine the cause of a Saturday night fire that did an estimated $5 million in damage to Marys Lake Lodge in Estes Park,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Estes Valley Fire Protection District spokesman Mike Richardson said late Sunday that he would not speculate on the cause of the blaze, which damaged the resort’s main lodge. He said he had just spoken with the fire inspector, who provided the cost estimate. There were no injuries, other than to a firefighter who received a laceration.”

“When it was first revealed last summer that Lafayette and Boulder County Housing Authority planned to pay millions for a plot of church-owned land, with designs to install hundreds of cheaper costing houses, the response from citizens was telling,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “In the days ahead of the contract approval — a roughly $3.5 million deal with Flatirons Community Church for 24 acres at the northwest corner of Emma and 120th streets — the project’s unveiling spurred dozens of inquiries from those hoping to put their names on a nonexistent wait list for the still-nameless community.”

“At its closest point, Vail is more than 650 miles from the Mexican border, but ripple effects from the chaos over family separations and the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy were felt all the way in Eagle County last week,” reports Vail Daily. “Policymakers, immigration experts and candidates for Congress reacted with dismay at the hardline policies being enforced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security — policies that have led to scenes of very young children separated from their parents at the border and placed into detention facilities around the country.”

“A contested water project that would change the Poudre River as we know it is back in the spotlight,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Over the years, you’ve probably heard of Northern Integrated Supply Project. Commonly called NISP, it’s a plan that includes two new reservoirs filled with Poudre River water for 15 small municipalities and water districts in Northern Colorado. Together, the reservoirs would have a combined capacity much bigger than Horsetooth Reservoir. If the project is approved, the Poudre will look and feel different because of reduced flows through Fort Collins and beyond.”

“The trial for former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Detective Robert Dodd, who is accused of storing murder evidence in a personal storage locker, is set to begin Monday and last through Friday,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Dodd declined to take a plea agreement June 4. During that hearing, Judge Norman Cooling granted Dodd’s lawyer’s request to give potential jurors a questionnaire before they sit on the jury.”

“Colorado’s unaffiliated voters haven’t exactly turned out in droves to cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election, even though a new law allows them to do so for the first time,” reports The Denver Post. “The lackluster interest — a turnout rate roughly half that of registered Democrats and Republicans — does not surprise veteran political observers who know from prior elections that most unaffiliated voters in Colorado are less interested in politics, less motivated to participate and less optimistic that their vote will make a difference. Also, it’s new, and experts say it will take time for voters to get acclimated — and for the impact of their vote to make a difference.”

“A free recycle center that has been in the works for months now has an opening date,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “A grand opening celebration for Pueblo RecycleWorks, located at 1595 Stockyard Road, is slated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The recycle center will be located near a large-item trash drop-off site that was opened to the public in early February and allows residents to dispose of bulky items such as mattresses, sofas, chairs, tables, other furniture and appliances at the cost of a $10 voucher for one item that are limited to two per city household per year.”

“A hail storm passed through Windsor and Greeley about mid-day Sunday, dropping hail up to a half-inch in diameter,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The National Weather Service before noon put out a special weather advisory, warning of a strong thunderstorm over Johnstown, 10 miles southwest of Greeley and moving east about 25 mph. The advisory remained in effect until 12:45 p.m. The storm rolled in to the Greeley Stampede arena about 11:45 a.m., briefly interrupting the Kids Rodeo and sending junior barrel racers, as well as their horses, ducking for cover. The storm dropped pebble-sized hail and rain for close to 45 minutes.”

“Longmont Housing Authority will scale back armed security patrols of The Suites next month in an effort to create a less intimidating environment at the affordable housing complex since unwarranted police searches of residents’ apartments last year sparked outcry,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Tenants have applauded changes this year to policies on the property and the additions of weekly therapeutic art classes and yoga sessions. Verbal altercations between some residents persist, but LHA officials this week cited decreased criminal activity documented by police at The Suites as a sign of progress from the 2017 controversy that eroded resident trust of its management.”

“The sixth-annual Colorado West Pride Fest drew attendees from across the Western Slope on Sunday, starting with a parade down Main Street that included everything from an inflatable unicorn to synchronized rainbow flag dancing, glitter and glam,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The anthems provided by Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” the tutus and the body-hugging neon Spandex costumes underlined the central message of the festival — that it’s ok for people to be different, to wear what they want, be who they want and love who they want.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. The hard bitter truth is that we aren’t transitioning to alternative/renewable energy sources fast enough.

    To be clear I’m anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuels but the hard reality is that until or unless we get transitioned faster, much faster for some time we’re going to be relying on some form of fossil fuel whether it be coal or natural gas to not only generate electricity but also to heat our homes, heat our hot water etc.

    With that said much though I recognize the short term need to be burning some sort of fossil fuel I’m 110% supportive of Ballot Initiative #97 to create 2,500′ setbacks for all drilling and fracking operations. Its the least we can do to try to keep our neighborhoods and schools as safe as possible as we continue to work on transitioning to a sustainable future to pass on to generations that will follow.

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