The Colorado Independent,2020
All Right Reserved.
Home Tags WSP
Environmental groups trying to compel the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the climate change impacts of coal mine methane are encouraged by today's BLM decision to reconsider approval of a mine expansion on Colorado’s Western Slope.
The HD Mountains in southern Colorado were reportedly named after an old cattle brand, not the more contemporary “High Definition” television brand. But a plan by BP America and other oil and gas companies to drill natural gas in the low-elevation roadless area has brought into crystal-clear focus the debate over drilling for gas on public lands deemed “roadless” by the Clinton administration in 2001.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, according to the Denver Post, will be proposing a new set of rules that would waive or reduce a significant number of campaign finance fines for political committees that fail to file disclosure reports. As an elections law attorney for primarily conservative causes, Gessler represented groups that either flat-out failed to register with the secretary of state and later engaged in electioneering activity or failed to file disclosure reports – sometimes for years. Now he tells the Post he’ll roll out rules in the next few weeks that will make it easier to reduce or waive such fines.
Colorado’s coal industry is on fire lately, going after natural gas producers with gusto in the wake of last year’s controversial Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which requires Xcel Energy to convert several coal-fired power plants on Colorado’s Front Range over to natural gas or alternative fuel sources such as wind and solar.
As The New York Times continues to expose infighting in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its regulation – or the lack thereof – of the nation’s booming natural gas industry, county officials in Colorado are grappling with health impact assessments (HIA) of their own. Garfield County this week released a second draft of an HIA conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) and first released last fall. It looks at the potential health impacts of a proposal by Denver-based Antero Resources to drill up to 200 new natural gas wells in the Battlement Mesa community.
Actor Mark Ruffalo didn’t win an Oscar for best supporting actor Sunday night for his role in “The Kids Are All Right,” but he did make headlines for his role supporting the anti-natural-gas-drilling documentary “Gasland,” which also came up short during the annual Academy Awards. Josh Fox’s “Gasland” film was up for best documentary – an award that went instead to “Inside Job” – and Ruffalo wore a blue water droplet pin to show his support for clean water and Fox’s investigation of the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, including incidents of water contamination in the gas patches of Colorado. The natural gas industry has gone to great lengths to debunk the film.
With crude oil prices creeping back toward $100 a barrel and unrest racking the Middle East from Egypt – where 3 million barrels of mostly U.S.-bound oil passes through the Suez Canal each day – to Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, it’s not surprising there’s renewed interest in Colorado’s vast oil shale reserves.
Residents of Garfield County neighborhoods impacted by natural gas drilling have been approached by a New York City firm that last year landed a $712.5 million settlement for workers injured in the World Trade Center cleanup. A representative of Napoli Bern Ripka LLP will attend a meeting of potential plaintiffs Feb. 22 at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, according to an activist group fighting to mitigate drilling impacts. Also on hand will be attorneys from the Aspen law firm of Thomas Genshaft PC.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) today withdrew its lawsuit against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission over the process that led to the state’s revised and still hotly debated oil and gas drilling regulations that went into effect in 2009.
Republican Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson recently opened a can of worms by getting his fellow commissioners to agree to starting meetings with a prayer, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Signed off on by fellow GOP commissioners John Martin and Tom Jankovsky, the practice has touched off a debate in the letters to the editor section of the Glenwood Post Independent: