Oil and Gas

Judge: BLM fell short in oil, gas plan review

A federal judge has agreed with activists that the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately consider greenhouse gas impacts from oil and gas consumption in its new resource management plan for the Colorado River Valley Field Office. Judge Lewis T. Babcock also found that the agency "failed to consider reasonable alternatives to oil and gas leasing and development" as part of its review of alternatives in the plan. Babcock has ordered the plaintiffs in the suit to try to negotiate a remedy to the shortfalls in the BLM's review, and to submit written briefs on a proposed remedy if an [...]

Judge: BLM fell short in oil, gas plan review 2018-11-08T18:11:20+00:00

Trump administration again backs off plan for drilling on Colorado public land

The Trump administration is again shelving plans to allow oil and gas drilling on public land in Colorado after complaints from state officials and activists. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Friday some of the land is in big game habitat and some is in the North Fork Valley in western Colorado, where bureau officials are in the process of revising resource management plans. The land covers about 116 square miles (300 square kilometers) in 58 parcels. “We appreciate the BLM’s thoughtful decision to listen to the concerns of Coloradans,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a written statement. “The [...]

Trump administration again backs off plan for drilling on Colorado public land 2018-11-08T18:04:47+00:00

Victory in court for local public lands! Judge agrees with WW: BLM must consider climate impacts of oil and gas development

WW recently won an important victory in Federal District Court. A lawsuit filed by WW with the Western Environmental Law Center, Western Colorado Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club challenged BLM’s 2015 Resource Management Plan (the plan) for the Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO). The suit contested the plan’s prioritization of oil and gas development over all other uses, as well as BLM’s failure to consider the climate impacts of drilling thousands of new gas wells on our local public lands. BLM’s plan left the vast majority of the Field Office open to oil and gas leasing [...]

Victory in court for local public lands! Judge agrees with WW: BLM must consider climate impacts of oil and gas development 2018-11-07T17:24:31+00:00

Environmental groups step up battle against BLM drilling leases

An EcoFlight trip above the heart of the Piceance Basin west of the Roaring Fork Valley sought to give various members of Colorado-based media groups perspective into a recently filed lawsuit that challenges 53 energy leases in Mesa and Garfield counties that were awarded by the Bureau of Land Management in 2016 and 2017. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, a Denver nonprofit. There are three co-plaintiffs, one of which is the Carbondale-based nonprofit Wilderness Workshop, which describes itself as “the conservation watchdog of nearly 4 million acres of public lands in western Colorado.” The 53 lease [...]

Environmental groups step up battle against BLM drilling leases 2018-06-27T16:46:17+00:00

Feds push for more leasing

ASPEN — The Trump administration is pushing to open more public land in Colorado for fossil fuel development, preparing to sell off access to minerals under 45,000 acres near a state park and bird habitat along the upper Colorado River. But the intensifying efforts by the federal Bureau of Land Management face resistance. Conservation groups are fighting in federal court to block this leasing in already-drilled areas around De Beque, accusing the feds of skipping required environmental reviews. And in southern Colorado this week, Huerfano County commissioners began drafting a formal request to the BLM to delay the proposed leasing of [...]

Feds push for more leasing 2018-06-27T16:30:54+00:00

Residents push for stricter air quality standards

State health officials headed out to Rifle on Tuesday to meet with a room full of Western Slope residents, community activists and members of the oil and gas industry to discuss adopting stricter air quality standards across the state. The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission is looking into whether the recently adopted Front Range requirements that have oil and gas companies test equipment and facilities more frequently for leaks should apply statewide. "All residents should get the protections they deserve," Battlement Mesa resident Betsy Leonard said during the comment portion, which other than the 10-minute introduction lasted the entire two-hour meeting. [...]

Residents push for stricter air quality standards 2018-05-19T16:04:34+00:00

State Air Quality Regulators in Rifle Today

The state Air Pollution Control Division is in Rifle today to talk to stakeholders and hear public comment about emissions from oil and gas extraction. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Peter Hart, staff attorney for Wilderness Workshop, to find out more. The meeting starts at noon at the Garfield County Sheriff’s Annex in Rifle with public comments beginning at 3:30. Read Full Article

State Air Quality Regulators in Rifle Today 2018-05-19T16:04:42+00:00

BLM Methane Rule Law of the Land…For Now

A US District Court judge last week smacked down the Trump Administration’s attempted roll-back of the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste Rule. The injunction was based on a lawsuit filed by several groups, including Carbondale’s Wilderness Workshop. Staff attorney Peter Hart told KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh that they won the battle but not the war. Read Full Article  

BLM Methane Rule Law of the Land…For Now 2018-05-07T18:20:27+00:00

BLM Plans More Gas Drilling in Garfield County

The KDNK News Team got a bird’s-eye perspective of the Garfield County natural gas fields last month with Ecoflight, a local wildlands advocacy group. Amy Hadden Marsh has this story about a new plan for more natural gas drilling in western Garfield County and what that could mean for wildlife habitat in an area that’s riddled with gas wells. The BLM was invited to join KDNK on the flight but agency policy restricts employees to BLM-chartered flights during work hours. Initial public comment on the Balzac Gulch Phase II Master Development Plan closes February 8th. Read Full Article [...]

BLM Plans More Gas Drilling in Garfield County 2018-05-09T21:45:27+00:00