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Tag: Western Slope

DeGette plans to introduce ‘fracking’ bill this week to protect drinking...

Officials for the natural gas industry are quick to point out that a process called hydraulic fracturing has been in use for more than 60 years without a single documented case of groundwater contamination by the chemicals used to make gas flow more freely from wells. But U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is just as quick to respond that it’s hard to document contamination when no one outside of the industry knows exactly what kinds of chemicals are being injected along with high-pressure water into wells to force open rock formations thousands of feet below the surface.

Lamborn wants to force Salazar’s hand on oil shale with PIONEER...

Republican Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn recently introduced a bill that would reinstate the Bush administration’s midnight oil shale leasing regulations that were quickly reversed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in the first month’s of the Obama administration. Besides winning the award for the most convoluted legislative acronym, Lamborn’s Protecting Investment in Oil shale the Next generation of Environment, Energy, and Resource security (PIONEER) Act, H.R. 2540, comes at a time when Colorado officials are skeptically asking for more accountability from current oil shale leases.

Wind, solar group prodding Xcel to address transmission “bottleneck”

The Governor’s Energy Office has an ambitious goal of expediting the addition of another 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy generation to Colorado’s electricity grid in the next few years, but the single biggest hurdle may be adding the necessary transmission lines. Representatives of companies building utility-scale renewable projects like the 8-megawatt SunEdison solar plant in Colorado’s San Luis Valley say sun and wind generation facilities can be permitted and built in under two years, but transmission lines can take more than a decade to become reality.

Ritter signs green vehicle bill; beetles headed to hearing on Hill

Picture a scenario sometime after 2010 where -- if Gov. Bill Ritter is reelected and the Dems keep control of the statehouse -- we’ll all be driving plug-in hybrids that run on a mix of ethanol and ground-up bark beetles, with tiny snowboarders emblazoned on our license plates. It’s a nightmare vision for most right-wingers, straight out of the Shangri-La they sneeringly refer to as the “People’s Republic of Boulder,” but it’s a little closer to reality today after Governor Renewable signed House Bill 1331, which provides state tax incentives for high-tech, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Electric co-ops legally need to disclose investment risks of coal-fired power

Rural electric co-ops that gamble on low-cost coal while largely keeping their member-owners in the dark about future financial risks may be playing with federal regulatory fire in the form of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, according to an attorney for the renewable-energy sector. Ron Lehr, attorney for Interwest Energy Alliance and former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), said board members of rural electric co-ops need to go to great lengths to divulge to their members the potential risks of investing in coal-fired power plants with a possible federal carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy looming.

Wastewater heat deal struck between Avon, water district

An innovative system designed to use heat generated from wastewater treatment to melt snow and heat several town facilities, including a recreation center pool, is back on track after the mountain town of Avon struck a deal with the local water district last week.

Battlement Mesa residents leery of plan to drill for gas right...

It’s a valid question: If you retired to Colorado’s sunny Western Slope for the laidback mountain lifestyle but bought into a community purpose-built for workers during the oil shale boom of the 1980s, should you be shocked when drilling rigs sprout like pinon pines in your neighborhood? Battlement Mesa residents are grappling with that question these days after Denver-based Antero Resources recently struck a deal to drill up to 200 gas wells from 10 pads right in town — some within a few hundred feet of homes and the municipal golf course.

Vilsack issues directive protecting national forest roadless areas

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday issued a memorandum essentially blocking most development and road building on more than 53 million acres of national forest (4.4 million in Colorado) designated as roadless areas.

Green groups challenge industry lawsuit against new drilling regs

After two years of at-times heated debated over new, more environmentally-friendly oil and gas drilling regulations, ratification by the State Legislature and a signature by Gov. Bill Ritter, it looked like the warring parties would finally lay down their arms when the regs went into effect April 1. Wrong. A few weeks into the new regs, which require closer state scrutiny of drilling practices that might impact air and water quality and wildlife habitat, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association filed a lawsuit against the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which drafted the new rules.

IREA would be exempt from proposed state oversight of electric co-ops

One of the ironies of the controversy over proposed Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) oversight of the state’s second largest utility, Tri-State, is that the rural electric co-op arguably most in need of increased state supervision, the IREA, would be unaffected. Eighteen of the state’s 22 rural electric co-ops (REAs) would be impacted by PUC approval of Tri-State’s integrated resource plans — annual documents that detail the utility’s energy loads — but the IREA (Intermountain Rural Electric Association) and three other co-ops don’t get their power from Tri-State.
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