Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time to Clean up Colorado


Why This Is Important

The Coalition for a Clean Colorado believes that a clean environment, clean government and an economy powered by local, clean and renewable energy is essential for our livable future. To achieve this, we need elected officials who will fight to protect the health, welfare, safety and environment of our communities.

Governor Hickenlooper, your ad campaign on behalf of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry that stands to reap billions from the accelerated extraction of dirty and life threatening fossil energy, is wholly inappropriate and an insult to the People of Colorado.

The claim that since 2008, "we have not had one instance of groundwater contamination associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing" is incorrect. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions own database documents over 1,000 oil and gas spills that have impacted groundwater since 2008. These spills and the significant chemical emissions allowed through multiple industry exemptions, are directly impacting the health, welfare and safety of our communities.

County land use regulations empowered by the Colorado Constitution and upheld by the courts, are the only means left for local communities to protect themselves from the abuses of an overly powerful industry that has corrupted our government and undermined prospects for a clean energy future.

Therefore, we the undersigned, demand that you immediately rescind the executive order on fracking, withdraw the COGA ad and get dirty energy out of the State house.


Hickenlooper forms task force to address drilling regulations
Mark Jaffe

Facing a rash of local initiatives to control oil and gas drilling, Gov. John Hickenlooper Monday created a task force to "clarify" the roles of state an local governments in regulating drilling.

"This is an important step to better define state and local jurisdiction regulatory structures as Colorado's oil and gas industry continues to grow," Hickenlooper said.

Spurred by the discovery of oil in the Niobrara formation, which stretches from El Paso County to the Wyoming border, companies have been buying up mineral leases and ramping up drilling.

In 2011, Weld County had the most drilling activity in the West, according to a study by Headwaters Economics, a Montana-based natural resource consultant.

That lead 10 Front Range municipalities and counties to develop drilling rules, raising concerns among drillers that projects could be stalled.

"This is makes attracting investment a real challenge," said Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a trade group, which will have a spot on the task force.

The task force also will include a representative the Colorado Petroleum Association, two members of the state oil and gas conservation commission and one environmental group representative.

"The composition of the task force seems weighted in favor of industry," Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation's senior policy adviser, said in a statement.

Continue reading...  Who's on the task force?


Who the hell got to select the task force members? This is botched from the start. Apologetic,special interest, backdoor soothsayers,with hands in your cookie jar.

 Let the people vote.

Colorado Govenor Hickenlooper issues executive order on fracking


DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper, already having irked Colorado environmentalists this week for voicing a radio ad in favor of hydraulic fracturing on behalf of the state’s oil and gas industry, issued an executive order Wednesday afternoon creating a task force to determine whether the state or local cities and counties have control over fracking operations in the state.

“This is an important step to better define state and local jurisdiction regulatory structures as Colorado’s oil and gas industry continues to grow,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.

“We want to protect public health, the environment and wildlife and to avoid duplication and conflict between different regulations of oil and gas activities. We expect these efforts to also help foster a climate that encourages responsible development and enhances existing cooperation and coordination between state and local government.”

The order comes after the town of Erie voted Tuesday night to draft an emergency 180-day moratorium on fracking, a common process used by oil and gas companies to loosen mineral reserves for extraction by shooting a mix of water, sand and chemicals more than mile beneath the surface.

The town had rejected a moratorium proposal a month ago, but reversed course based largely on a report last week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that showed levels of propane — a chemical used in fracking — 10 times higher in Erie than in other cities.

Environmentalists have long argued that fracking is contaminating groundwater and causing health problems for people living nearby.

Continue reading...

Get a clue Governor, your statements appear wrong in that, that this rogue oil and gas industry is not causing groundwater contaminations, air quality degradation etc... 


Enough already!

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Statement Not Correct, Again [FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

For Immediate Release
February 29, 2012
Sierra Club Poudre Canyon Group and Clean Water Action
Contacts: Shane Davis, 509-570-4422; Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Statement Not Correct, Again

Contamination of Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer and Residential Water Well Occurred in 2009
Fort Collins, CO -- In the February 28, 2012 online version of the Denver Post, the President of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is quoted as making this statement:

Colorado's rules include provisions addressing "cementing and casing of wells," Schuller said. And since 2009 "there has not been a drilling or hydraulic-fracturing incident that has affected groundwater, and there have been no incidents which have affected a family's or community's drinking water," she said.
This statement is not correct.

One such "incident" occurred on August 11, 2009 in which toulene and dissolved methane were found in a residential water well in Weld County that included contamination of the Fox-Hills Aquifer. The homeowner filed a complaint ("gas bubbles were present in his water"). The COGCC tested the water and found the contaminants. The COGCC required a nearby gas well to be tested and concluded there was a hole in the casing. The gas well was then shut down. The operator (Eddy Oil) was fined $46,200 and required to remediate the property owner's impacts. The extent of the contamination to the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer is unclear at this time as is any effort to decontaminate the aquifer.

Here is the "NOAV" Report for the incident:

Here is the Spill/Release Report ("Form 19, 6/99"):

Here is the "Administrative Order By Consent 1V-349" in which it states (

16. Based on the above facts, COGCC Staff contend that a hole in the production casing in the Well resulted in a significant waste of oil and gas resources and a significant adverse impact on public health, safety or welfare or the environment as it pertains to Rule 324A.a. COGCC Staff further contend that Eddy Oil’s failure to maintain a casing program to prevent the migration of produced gas from Codell Formation in the Well to the Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer resulted in the degradation and contamination of ground water. (page 3)

"COGA's statement in the Denver Post is not correct," said Shane Davis of the Sierra Club. "Groundwater and aquifer contamination have occurred in a residential water well since 2009."

Further, the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action point out that "since 2009," Spill/Release Reports sent to the COGCC by drilling operators in Weld County show that 46.3% of the 452 spills/releases contaminated groundwater and 2.2% of 452 spills/releases contaminated surface water. (Table here:

"Groundwater and surface water are being contaminated by oil and gas production activities," said Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action.

The Sierra Club, Poudre Canyon Group and Clean Water Action continue to analyze the data from Weld County, Colorado.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Erie trustees vote to draft emergency fracking moratorium

Daily Camera
By  John Aquilar

NOAA air pollution study serves as prime catalyst for board's change of heart

ERIE -- In a dramatic turnaround late Tuesday evening, Erie trustees unanimously voted to craft an emergency ordinance to temporarily ban new gas drilling permits from being filed with the town.

The ordinance will come before the town's elected leaders at their next meeting, on March 13, and, if voted on as an emergency ordinance, would require six votes to pass. It would go into effect immediately and last 180 days.

If it passes, Erie would join Longmont and Boulder County in imposing a moratorium on new drilling operations.

Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Hauger brought the motion to the table late in the evening, saying that a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that came to light last week showing that levels of propane -- a pollutant associated with oil and gas drilling and production -- are 10 times higher in Erie than they are in cities such as Houston and Los Angeles was instrumental in prompting her to give a moratorium another try.

Just last month, the board voted against imposing a moratorium.

Several trustees mentioned the NOAA study as a primary reason for changing their opinion on the safety of drilling and hydraulic fracturing, an extraction process known as fracking that uses a sand-water-chemical mix to loosen gas from underground rock.

Trustee Ronda Grassi said that a moratorium would provide time for the town to work out issues with oil and gas operators in Erie, though she cautioned it wouldn't stop companies already drilling and fracking here. She said Erie doesn't currently have an application for a drilling permit in front of it.
"A moratorium won't change one thing today -- they are allowed to drill in our community and they won't stop,"

she said.
The town is in the midst of drafting a set of rules drilling operators would be expected to follow, including air and water monitoring, larger wellhead setbacks and noise, light and dust mitigation. Gas drilling is regulated by the state and municipalities are limited in what they can control operationally.
Trustee Joe Carnival said...

Media Advisory: Northern Colorado Conservation Groups Request COGA Remove Radio Ad from Airwaves

Feb 27th, 2012

Hello Media,

Please be advised that 2 northern Colorado conservation groups have sent the attached letter to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association requesting that this radio ad be removed from the airwaves because it contains information that is not correct. We offer an analysis of Weld County Spill/Release Reports to support our request.

Here's the radio ad:

(The letter is also posted here:

In addition, Clean Water Action signed on to the letter to Governor Hickenlooper and the press release attached.

Thank you,

Gary Wockner, Clean Water Action
Shane Davis, Sierra Club

pdf of data

Aurora forgoes fracking moratorium but begins looking at local regulations

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

AURORA | It’s illegal for the city of Aurora to outright ban hydraulic fracturing but the city could enact an ordinance that regulates drilling-related land uses, city attorneys told Aurora City Council members at a public meeting on Feb. 25.

Council members at the meeting informally approved a draft ordinance regulating oil and gas development amidst growing tensions from the community about the environmental impacts of fracking.

City staff members in the coming weeks are slated to meet with major oil and gas developers to discuss the proposed draft, and council members will have to formally vote on the draft at a later date.

The draft ordinance puts stricter regulations on oil and gas developers than the city’s current ordinance, but concerned residents still say council should have done more.
City council members at the meeting rejected the idea of a moratorium to study the environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling, although Councilwoman Renie Peterson tried to push that proposal at the meeting.

Bob Rogers, deputy city attorney, said the moratorium would be pointless.

“We don’t need that breather,” he said. “Staff is on the way to change the ordinance and we think it’s better to get public hearings and to force negotiations on the (drilling) operators instead of waiting 30 or 60 days for nothing because we’re not going to be doing a fracking study.”

That was disappointing to Sonia Skakich-Scrima, a member of What The Frack? Arapahoe, a grassroots group that has spent the past several months trying to convince council members of the need for a moratorium.

“I would have liked to see a six-month moratorium to allow staff to better inform themselves,” she said.

Continue reading...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boulder County commissioners to review impacts of potential increase in oil, gas drilling

Longmont Times-Call
By John Fryar

BOULDER -- Significant expansion of oil and gas exploration in Boulder County could cause expensive-to-repair damages to county roads near those well sites, according to the County Transportation Department.

"The impacts of heavy trucks necessary to serve potential oil and gas development on Boulder County roads could be equivalent to the wear and tear of hundreds of millions of passenger vehicles,"

Transportation director George Gerstle has written the Board of County Commissioners.

That additional truck traffic might also "increase conflicts with other vehicles and bicyclists and would place significant new demands for road infrastructure and safety improvements on the county, without additional revenue to address the potential needs," Gerstle said in his memo, which is part of a 277-page report the county staff prepared for a commissioners' meeting this coming Thursday.

Boulder County's Land Use Department has initially estimated that as many as 1,800 oil and gas wells could be drilled in unincorporated Boulder County under current county and state regulations.

Parks and Open Space director Ron Stewart wrote the commissioners that there are now about 345 active oil and gas wells in Boulder County. About a third of those active wells are on county-owned open space. Another third are on privately held lands covered by Boulder County conservation easements, and the rest are on privately held land not protected by conservation easements.

Stewart said his department has had its own both short- and long-term experiences with the impacts of oil and gas operations on county open space -- wells the county had to let be drilled and operated because the property was subject to existing oil and gas leases when the county bought it. The county doesn't have the legal ability to prevent that drilling and production when it doesn't own the mineral rights that previous property owners severed from the surface rights -- or even when it does own those mineral rights but has to honor existing leases.

Continue reading...

Oil and gas drilling issues

What: Boulder County commissioners will hold a public hearing on issues relating to the adequacy of the county's current Land Use Code regulations about oil and gas exploration in unincorporated Boulder County.

When:  March 1st, 4 p.m. Thursday

Where: Commissioners' third-floor hearing room, Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder

Further information: After a county staff presentation that's expected to last at least an hour, members of the public will be invited to comment. There'll be a three-minute time limit for each individual speaker. Comments also can be submitted via email, to

People unable to attend the meeting in person can watch it over the Internet, via a live stream at Further information about the issue, including the county staff's report for Thursday's hearing, is available at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gas-Fracking Ban in Upstate New York Upheld by State Court Judge

Feb 22, 2012
Jim Efsyathiou Jr.

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- A central New York town can block natural-gas drilling after a state judge, in the first test of local laws, upheld the Town of Dryden’s ban on hydraulic fracturing.

State Supreme Court Judge Phillip Rumsey in a ruling released yesterday said the town’s zoning amendment on gas drilling wasn’t pre-empted by state law. Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. sued in September, seeking to overturn the ordinance, which bans gas and oil exploration in the town about 200 miles (322 kilometers) northwest of Manhattan.

New York placed a moratorium on the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing in 2010 while state regulators developed environmental rules. Since then, about 20 towns in the state have adopted laws to ban drilling, Karen Edelstein, a geographic information-systems consultant in Ithaca, said.

“I think you’d call this a pretty substantial victory,”

Mahlon Perkins, attorney for Dryden, said yesterday in an interview. “The pertinent part of it is, he declared that the zoning amendment as slightly modified is not pre-empted by state law.”

Tom West, an Albany attorney representing Anschutz, said the ruling was disappointing. Anschutz has 30 days to decide whether to appeal in state court, he said.
“These pure questions of law have a tendency to get reviewed, and different judges can see it differently,” West said in an interview. “We still feel very confident in our position that the oil and gas law does pre-empt municipalities from these types of regulation.”

Suck it up Anschutz Exploration Corp.!

Study: Dirty air in Erie linked to gas drilling - Homes built on top of abandoned wells?

Daily Camera
John Aguilar

ERIE -- A study showing that Erie exceeds Houston and Los Angeles in the levels of certain air pollutants commonly connected to oil and gas activity became a point of concern for several trustees Tuesday night during a meeting held to formulate local rules for resource extraction.

"I was kind of shocked by the things I heard," said Trustee Ronda Grassi, after listening to a presentation from a research scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Steven Brown, a NOAA scientist in Boulder, told the trustees and a roomful of industry experts that an air monitoring study conducted in Erie last winter revealed that levels of butane, ethane and propane -- compounds associated with oil and gas drilling and production -- were "large."

Specifically, Brown said Erie's propane levels exceeded by a factor of 10 those detected in Pasadena, Calif., in 2010.

That prompted a scoffing reaction from Trustee Mark Gruber, who said he used to avoid Pasadena when he lived in southern California strictly because of its poor air quality.

"Propane is much, much larger in Erie than it is in major urban areas, and that is a clear signature that we are impacted by oil and gas," Brown said.

But the scientist said the data don't definitively show if the air pollution detected in the study is being produced by the hundreds of active natural gas wells operating in Erie or whether most of it is migrating in from surrounding communities also located in the massive Wattenberg Gas Field northeast of Denver.

Tuesday's revelation came as Erie is in the midst of...

Continue reading...

Citizens of Erie, Colorado,

Remember your Mayor and Board of Trustees work for you. It's not what's in the best interest for their longevity, or navigating their positions politically that matters. It's your health, and your children's health, that matters how they should address these incredible concerns.  It appears these significant concerns would, in-fact, pose long-term health risks to you from associated oil and gas development.

It is your vote that counts. You, the Erie citizen, should email the Mayor and all Trustees your imminent health concerns. The Mayor appeared to showcase a 'fake' concern and quickly wash his hands during his 'damage controlled' final statement last night.

The current elevated chemicals in  Erie's air are very harmful in large concentrations to you, and do pose significant increased risks of asthma, scarring of the lungs and other chemically associated risks.  Why would anyone take a risk and allow further development when your air quality standards exceed acceptable harmful levels. Will your city properly address these issues or will they have their own interests in mind?

Another question that came up at the city council meeting/study session was that it appears many homes in Erie are situated in close proximity or possibly on-top of abandoned oil and gas wells. We are trying to obtain more information on this from the source and will report back later.

Call or email your Mayor and Board of Trustees about your concerns. Should oil and gas development continue in the city limits of Erie? Should you know if your house is on-top of an abandoned oil and gas well?  Let them know you will not vote for them unless they call for a moratorium to address the current concerns and work towards cleaning your air and environment.

To email the Mayor and all trustees at once, please use:

Joe Wilson - Mayor Email April 2012 1656 Alpine Dr.
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-358-4114
Fx: 303-926-2706

Cheryl Hauger - Mayor Pro Tem Email April 2012 1179 Northview Dr.
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-828-9109
Fx: 303-926-2706

Joe Carnival - Trustee Email April 2014 1656 Bain Dr.
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-834-5410
Fx: 303-926-2706

Ronda Grassi - Trustee Email April 2014 1894 Grenfell Court
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-665-3217
Fx: 303-926-2706

Mark Gruber - Trustee Email April 2014 1398 Clayton Way
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 720-383-4212
Fx: 303-926-2706

Paul Ogg - Trustee Email April 2012 96 Bonanza Dr.
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-828-0764
Fx: 303-926-2706

Colin Towner - Trustee Email April 2012 720 Austin Ave., Suite 105
Erie, CO 80516 Ph: 303-818-3314
Fx: 303-926-2706


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Fracking Industry Buys Congress - But for how much?

Environmental News Service
Blue Ridge Press
By Sharon Guynup

WASHINGTON, DC, February 16, 2012 (ENS) - A natural gas drilling rush is on in rural North Dakota. And with it, residents are reporting growing numbers of respiratory ailments, skin lesions, blood oozing from eyes, and the deaths of livestock and pets.

Elsewhere, residents of Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wyoming and other states who thought they'd hit the lottery by signing natural gas drilling leases have watched their drinking water turn noxious: slick, brown, foamy, flammable.

In December, for the first time, federal regulators scientifically linked hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to the contamination of an aquifer, refuting repeated industry claims that the practice does not pollute drinking water.

It happened in the rural ranching community of Pavillion, Wyoming, an area riddled with 162 natural gas wells dug between 1990 and 2006. Despite a decade of complaints from residents that their reeking water was undrinkable - and that many suffered from nerve damage, asthma, heart trouble and other health problems - state officials did nothing.

Finally the EPA stepped in, launching a three-year study running from 2008 to 2011.

In its report, the EPA identified numerous fracking chemicals in Pavillion's water. Cancer-causing benzene was found at 50 times safe levels, along with other hazardous chemicals, methane, diesel fuel, and toxic metals - in both groundwater and deep wells.

Continue reading...   Just how much money is spent on oil and gas lobbying?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boulder County commissioner candidates focus on fracking - A Ban?
By John Fryar Longmont

All are critical of county's regulations on drilling

BOULDER -- Boulder County shouldn't waste time tinkering with land use regulations in an attempt to reduce the potential public health and safety hazards that might come with using hydraulic fracturing to free up oil and gas deposits, a Boulder County commissioner candidate said Saturday.

Instead, commissioners should enact an outright prohibition against such "fracking" for future wells drilled anywhere in unincorporated areas of Boulder County, said Garry Sanfacon, even if that means paying to defend the county in any oil and gas exploration companies' lawsuits that might result.

All the Democratic candidates for the two Board of County Commissioners seats up for election this year expressed strong concerns about the adequacy of this county's current land use code's rules about oil and gas drilling, during a candidates' forum at Boulder County Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

Present regulations "don't have any strength to them," said Commissioner Deb Gardner, who voted with fellow board members on Feb. 2 to impose a six-month temporary moratorium on accepting and processing new drilling applications in order to give the county staff time to study and propose possible revisions to those existing Boulder County rules.

Gardner -- a Longmont resident who was appointed to the vacant District 2 seat on the county board in January and is seeking election to a full four-year term in that seat -- urged people to attend the March 1 public hearing the commissioners have scheduled as they consider whether to terminate, renew or otherwise amend that temporary drilling moratorium.

Continue reading...

But District 1 candidate Sanfacon, a Nederland-area resident who manages county government's Fourmile Canyon Fire recovery effort, said Boulder County needs to ban fracking, and not just "monkey around with the regulatory framework."


Makes perfect sense to us! Ban it! Who's on the 'Ban Wagon?'

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oil Field Deaths Could be a Record

Posted: Feb 16, 2012 6:38 PM EST
By Marci Narum

Two oil-field deaths in two weeks--and OSHA says we are on pace to set a record.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the most recent case--a man found dead early today at a fracking site northwest of Parshall. Bismarck Area OSHA director, Tom Deutscher says it was reported to OSHA at 4-o'clock this morning. A compliance officer is at the scene investigating. The name and age of the victim is not known, but Deutscher says the man was an employee of Key Energy Services and was working at a well servicing site. Our calls to Key Energy Services have not been returned.

OSHA is also investigating a death that was reported February 3rd north of Alexander. Deutscher says an employee of KKA Drilling fell about 14 feet from a rig. Workers were in the process of dismantling the rig floor when the accident happened. The victim died as a result of the injuries sustained in the fall. OSHA could not identify the man.

Continue reading...

Committee Review of House Bill 1277 Assuring Local Control of Oil Gas Regulation - PLEASE SIGN

Now House Bill 12-1277 is in Committee this Monday!

House Bill 1277 gives local governments more control. Let's support this bill which gives local county governments the power to regulate oil and gas activities. The provision to allow a ban was removed, and we need to ask that it be put back in.

Event: Committee Review of House Bill 1277 Assuring Local Control of Oil Gas Regulation

Start: Monday, February 20, 2012 1:30 to 3:30 pm

HB12-1277 expressly reconfirms that local land use regulation of the impacts of oil and gas operations, including fracking, is an important state interest, and that requirements imposed by the COGCC are in addition to NOT instead of local land use permit requirements. Oil and gas operations have to go through city or county permitting processes in which local governments can impose conditions or even reject a permit for fracking wells that do not satisfy local permit requirements.

Click here to view the bill in its entirety

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Water, gas continue flowing from Alaska blowout

Associated Press
Feb 16, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A blowout at an exploratory well near the coast of the Beaufort Sea underscores the threat to the pristine Arctic Ocean environment if offshore drilling is allowed by the Obama administration, environmental groups said Thursday.

No crude oil spilled onto the tundra and no workers were injured in the incident Wednesday, but an estimated 42,000 gallons of drilling mud was spit out of the well owned by Repsol E&P USA Inc. The blowout on the Colville River Delta, 18 miles northeast of the village of Nuiqsut, also expelled natural gas that could have ignited.

"What it shows is that there can be blowouts with exploratory wells hitting pockets of gas," said Pamela Miller of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in Fairbanks.

Lois Epstein of The Wilderness Society in Anchorage said the well was drilled by an experienced company whose plans were reviewed by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

"What this shows, and this is not the first time, is that drilling is a dirty and complicated business and that accidents happen, even to the best of companies, even with the best of oversight," she said. "What that tells me as someone who is working to find the right balance between drilling and protection is that you've got to recognize that certain areas, if you're going to allow drilling, there are going to be problems, and therefore the most sensitive areas need to be protected from drilling."
Water and small amounts of gas continued to flow from the well Thursday, said Cathy Foerster, one of three members of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The commission oversees drilling for worker safety, environmental protection and petroleum conservation.

Workers must wait for gas to completely clear before starting machinery that can be used to regain control of the well, she said.

The cause of the incident has not been determined, Foerster said, but the commission will investigate.
The incident began when Repsol's contractor, Nabors Drilling, penetrated a shallow gas pocket at 2,535 feet. The release of pressure resulted in a gas kick that sent drilling mud spewing out of the hole.

Drilling mud, also called drilling fluid, is used to lubricate the drill shaft, cool the hole and carry cut rock to the surface. It's also used to apply downward pressure on gas or liquids that could flow upward.

"The drilling fluid that they had in the hole should have been adequate for what they were expecting to encounter," Foerster said. "We need to understand why it wasn't, and that will be part of our investigation."

Workers tried killing the well by pumping more fluid down the borehole. That mud also was blown out.

Continue reading...

House passes Keystone bill, Senate action uncertain

FEB 16,2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives passed an energy bill on Thursday that would wrest control of a permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline away from President Barack Obama, who has put the project on hold.

The bill, part of a broader House Republican effort to fund highways and infrastructure projects, would also expand offshore oil drilling and open up parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

While approval of the Keystone measure by the House was widely expected, what happens with a similar proposal in the Democratic-controlled Senate is not yet clear.

Senate leaders were still negotiating on Thursday whether to allow a vote on Keystone as part of debate on a highway funding legislation, said Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota who has been a key advocate for the $7 billion Canada-to-Texas project.

"I think on the merits we're going to get it done. I don't know when. I hope in the highway bill, but if not, we'll stick with it," Hoeven told Reuters.

Hoeven developed legislation that would see Congress grant TransCanada a permit for the project, and filed the bill as an amendment to the highway funding package.


Republicans have seized upon the Canadian oil pipeline as a way to criticize Obama for his job creation and energy policies in the 2012 election race.

Continue reading...

Senate Bill 12-088 DEFEATED 4-1

Senate Bill 12-088

Senator Harvey
The Colorado Senate has proposed SB088 wherein they propose to preempt all local County control to regulate the oil and gas industry. This means that the COGCC alone will be in charge of all oil and gas operations. Without local control, their are no protections for the citizens that are affected by oil and gas.

This means that control over the setback distances, drilling spacing units, storage/disposal of carcinogenic waste water, the depletion of underground water supplies, the contamination of underground water supplies, the flaring of carcinogenic gas from wells, the traffic as well as the general impact on human and animal health, property values and quality of life will reside only in the hands of the State bureaucrats. The COGCC does not have a mission to protect landowners and residents.

Urge your state legislators to reject SB088 and replace it with a bill that grants local authority the power to regulate over the COGCC.


This Senate Bill was one of the most ridiculous bills ever introduced in Colorado! Senator Harvey, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Thank you to all the Twitter friends out there for your 1,000 lightning fast signatures!!   YOU ROCK!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Preserve Our Rights, We Must Stand Up For Them - Josh Fox

by Josh Fox
February 15, 2012

This morning, the charge of "unlawful entry" brought against me was dismissed without condition. The US Attorney dropped the case, finding it baseless and without merit. Although this is a personal victory and I am very grateful and relieved at the US Attorney's decision, it serves as a painful reminder that we do not have rights unless we exercise them .

On February 1st, I was arrested, briefly jailed, and charged with "unlawful entry" for attempting to film a public hearing in the Science, Space and Technology committee. I did not enter unlawfully, I lined up outside just as everyone else did and walked in when the room opened. I set up my tripod and camera where cameras normally are set up in that particular hearing room and I was calm and peaceful. I did not disrupt the hearing nor did I intend to do so. I believed I was within my first amendment rights, as a journalist and filmmaker. I was reporting on a case that is intensely personal to me, that I have been following for 3 years.

The House had convened a hearing in the House Energy and Environment subcommittee to challenge EPAs findings that hydraulic fracturing fluids had contaminated groundwater in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. I have a long history with the town of Pavillion and its residents who have maintained since 2008 that fracking has contaminated their water supply. I featured the stories of residents John Fenton, Louis Meeks and Jeff Locker in GASLAND and I have continued to document the catastrophic water contamination in Pavillion for the upcoming sequel GASLAND 2. It was clear that Republican leadership, including Chairman Andy Harris of Maryland, who ordered my arrest, was using this hearing to attack the three year Region 8 EPA investigation involving hundreds of samples and extensive water testing which ruled that Pavillion’s groundwater was a health hazard, contaminated by benzene at 50x the safe level and numerous other contaminants associated with gas drilling. Most importantly, EPA stated in this case that fracking was the likely cause.

When I was being led out of Congress in handcuffs, Representative Paul Tonko, Democracy of New York shouted out "This is the People's House!" in disgust. Representative Brad Miller of North Carolina, moved to suspend the rules so that we could continue to film the proceedings stating "All god's children should be allowed to film this hearing!" It was a surreal moment. Later that day, Congressman Maurice Hinchey would write, "This is blatant censorship and a shameful stain on this Congress."

But if it is not now the "People's House", it is now, more than ever the "people's media". I was able to watch my own arrest on youtube because members of the audience filmed it and posted their videos. It was the citizen journalism that first documented people lighting their water on fire in gas fracking areas. It was citizen journalism that posted videos of the recent mass arrest of peaceful protestors in New York and in California. The people's media is our system of accountability and transparency and we must continue to practice it.

Continue reading...

In order to preserve our Constitutional Rights we must Occupy them. They are your rights, they are our rights. Collectively, they are the rights of  free Americans. Do not let anyone take away your rights, no matter what they cost. 

Please forward Josh's request(s) to everyone who appreciates the freedoms our country was founded upon.

Stop the preemption of local control over oil and gas - Please sign the petition and RT everywhere (only 12 hours left!)

The Colorado Senate has proposed SB088 wherein they propose to preempt all local County control to regulate the oil and gas industry. This means that the COGCC alone will be in charge of all oil and gas operations. Without local control, their are no protections for the citizens that are affected by oil and gas.

This means that control over the setback distances, drilling spacing units, storage/disposal of carcinogenic waste water, the depletion of underground water supplies, the contamination of underground water supplies, the flaring of carcinogenic gas from wells, the traffic as well as the general impact on human and animal health, property values and quality of life will reside only in the hands of the State bureaucrats. The COGCC does not have a mission to protect landowners and residents.

Urge your state legislators to reject SB088 and replace it with a bill that grants local authority the power to regulate over the COGCC.

Please reject this bill and replace it with a proactive bill that gives alll surface property control to the Counties.

SIGN PETITION HERE PLEASE (only takes 15 seconds)

Please help by sending this to all of your friends.

Basically the oil and gas industry wishes to force communistic rule on all cities and frack everyone's lives but their own.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Congressman Introduces Bills To Stop US Natgas Exports
Date: 15-Feb-12
Country: USA
Author: Roberta Rampton

The United States should stop exports of natural gas to prevent domestic prices from rising, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey said on Tuesday while introducing two bills in the House of Representatives to prevent shipments.

The bills, which would face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House, come as U.S. regulators consider applications for exports of a glut of natural gas that has weighed down prices and caused some companies to step back from drilling.

One of the bills from Markey, an outspoken critic of the oil and gas industry, would prevent the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from approving any natural gas export terminals until 2025.
The other bill would prevent exports of natural gas drilled on federal lands, and would ban pipelines crossing federal lands from carrying natural gas destined for export. It was cosponsored by Rush Holt, a Democratic congressman from New Jersey.

"Low natural gas prices are a competitive advantage for American businesses and a relief for American families, and exporting our natural gas would eliminate our economic edge and impose new costs on consumers,"

...Markey said in a statement.

Front-month March natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were trading around $2.50 per million British thermal units on Tuesday, rising from a 10-year low of $2.231 hit in late January that forced some producers to announce drilling cuts.

Markey has also tried to block exports of oil that would be carried by TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, but has so far been rebuffed in the House.

Continue reading...

Chesapeake Energy is in a bind - Another oil & gas welfare recipient?

Christopher Helman
Forbes Staff

Billionaire Wildcatter, Risk Addict Aubrey McClendon Has Bet It All On Shale

The company says it aims to raise $2 billion by spinning off assets from its service company and pipeline division. It expects another $2 billion from upfront sales of future flows from gas fields. And it earmarks another $6 billion or so from the sale of its largely undeveloped acreage in the oil-rich Permian basin. And for good measure, it will raise another $1 billion by issuing more senior debt. The $10-12 billion it hopes to raise is “substantially in excess of the difference between the company’s expected cash flow from operations and its planned capital expenditures.” Gosh I should hope so. Analyst Arun Jayaram at Credit Suisse pegs Chesapeake’s 2012 cash hole at $6 billion.

But with natural gas prices already at decade-long lows and set to go even lower in the months ahead, there’s no telling whether even Aubrey McClendon‘s legendary financial finagling will be able to save the day.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Chesapeake Energy is in a bind. It’s the second-biggest natural gas producer in the country after ExxonMobil. But with natgas prices having fallen to their lowest levels in a decade ($2.40 per thousands cubic feet), Chesapeake isn’t generating enough cash.

Chesapeake has curtailed its drilling in some plays, and in January said it would shut in production of marginal gas fields. But the company has $10 billion in debt to service and is obligated to keep drilling wells on newer oil and gas leases in order to hold the land. Over the course of 2012, if gas prices were to stay where they are now, Chesapeake would face a cash shortfall of several billion dollars.

A gift for financial engineering is part of the genius of Chesapeake Energy Chief Aubrey McClendon. For years he has driven Chesapeake hard and fast to gobble up oil and gas acreage across the country. To keep his land machine running, McClendon has continuously raised more cash from joint ventures, spin offs and by issuing debt. This wouldn’t have been a problem if gas prices just cooperated by staying around $5 or $6 per thousand cubic feet. Yet Chesapeake and other drillers have found so much new gas that what used to look like a bonanza has now turned into a glut.

A couple years ago McClendon redirected Chesapeake to focus on oily, liquids-rich plays. First the Eagle Ford shale, then newer areas like the Mississippi Lime and Permian Basin. The idea was that while gas prices were low, the cash flow from the higher-value liquids would be enough to keep Chesapeake solvent.

Continue reading...

Say NO to oil and gas welfare and YES to small business loans.

Two people dead…contaminated water after fracking

Barnett Shale Hell
Feb 12, 2012

The Butler County story is extremely sad…..Kim McEvoy wrote her governor

 “Since the fracking and flaring have begun, the air quality has deteriorated. We can’t play outside without getting a headache or a sore throat”

Kim’s neighbor, Janet McIntyre, reported……

”One man died just over a week ago.” she said “Mr. Dennis Peterson, 49, had reported last September that he had ‘rashes all over his body,’ and he was diagnosed with leukemia by December.”

Half way through the story, you are prompted to click on the related story where one of Janet’s three dogs died. Her other two dogs refused to drink the water and are still alive. But before the graphic details of the death of Janet’s dog she reported, “Before they (Janet’s daughter) were allowed to complete the adoption process, they were required to have their well water tested. Results from a 2004 test showed their water was in good condition.”

”On the evening of January 23, 2011, Janet and her family (including her two grown children and grandchildren) had dinner together, the meal having been prepared using tap water pumped from her well.

 In the middle of the night, Janet received a frantic call from her daughter whose nine-month old baby was projectile vomiting and had diarrhea running out of her diaper and down her legs.

By the next day, Janet and her husband woke up feeling ill and started projectile vomiting as well.

Continue reading...

Gas drilling destroying Pennsylvania forests

By Nathan Pipenberg

Then my eyes snap open and I adjust to reality again — the reality that gas drilling is destroying our state forests.

This past weekend, a friend and I took a trip up to Waterville, a small town in Lycoming County, to see this truth first hand.

I had heard from other hikers that the miles of trails near Waterville are some of the most depressing around because they’re located right on top of the Marcellus Shale formation and are a hot spot for gas drilling.

They were right.

We hiked about three miles, and afterward drove another 10 miles on public forest roads in the area. Over this short distance, we saw three well sites on the mountaintops and two pipelines cutting directly back into the valley.

From the moment we stepped out of our car at the base of the mountain, we could already hear what we would see at the top — engines revving, pipes being laid and beeps emanating from machines being put into reverse. It sounded like a highway was being constructed on the mountain top.
During our hike, we walked directly past a gas pad we found cutting across a public access hiking trail. I took photos from the trail, proving what the gas companies don’t want us to know. The fact is, each well pad resembles a small town. The mountain tops are clear cut, paved with tons of gravel and inhabited by dozens of trucks, bulldozers and storage containers the size of freight cars.

I snapped a shot of the well permit. The pad was built by Anadarko, the same energy giant which recently doled out $4 billion to pay for its involvement in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, according to a company press release.

We left when a security guard approached us and told us to put away the camera.

Continue reading...

Friday, February 10, 2012

We would like to kindly remind the public the definition of 'Santorum'

"Liberal politicians and green groups are exaggerating the dangers of hydraulic fracturing to scare people and raise money, Rick Santorum said Thursday in a wide-ranging rant against environmental activists"

Continue to article...

We would like to kindly remind the public the definition of 'Santorum'.  If you are offended, we apologize to you, but not Santorum. Go ahead, GOOGLE 'Santorum.'

Definition: Santorum

Pronunciation: san-TOR-um
Function: noun
Savage Love - 05/29/03

1. The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of @n@! s#x

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oil mergers, acquisitions total $9.9 billion in region last year

By Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post


The prospect of large oil reserves in Rocky Mountain shale and tight-sands formations generated nearly $10 billion in merger- and-acquisition deals in the region in 2011, according to two studies released Wednesday.

The $9.9 billion in deals represents a 32 percent increase over 2010, according to a study by accounting and consulting firm De- loitte LLP.

"It is clear people are really focused on these oil-rich plays," said Roger Ihne, Deloitte's Mid-Americas portfolio leader.

The biggest draw in the region is the Niobrara shale formation, which stretches from El Paso County into Wyoming, said Pete Stark, a vice president with consultant IHS.

"The little guys and some larger independents developed the resource," Stark said. "They 'derisked' the play. Now the big companies with resources to develop hundreds or thousands of wells move in."

Denver and Colorado will be a focal point in that development, according to consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Rocky Mountain deals were of particular focus for many energy companies throughout 2011," Rowena Cipriano-Reyes, a Denver-based PwC partner, said in a statement.

"With Colorado's geographical convenience and proximity to booming oil and gas markets, companies will remain drawn to this region in 2012," Cipriano-Reyes said.

In 2011, there were 191 deals nationally with values greater than $50 million, accounting for $186.5 billion — a 35 percent increase over 2010, according to PwC.

Union Pacific Railroad Company to pay $1.5 million for Clean Water Act violations in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming

Source: EPA

Company cited for oil and coal spills, inadequate prevention and planning

Contact Information: Donna Inman (303) 312-6201; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

(Denver, Colo—February 9th, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Union Pacific Railroad Company regarding alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act.

This settlement resolves a Clean Water Act enforcement action against Union Pacific that involves continuing operations at 20 rail yards in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as spills of oil and coal in 2003 and 2004 along railroad lines in all three states.

For the railyards, EPA alleges Union Pacific violated EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Facility Response Plan (FRP) regulations. These regulations are the first line of defense for preventing oil spills and providing immediate containment measures when an oil spill does occur.
“Today we have secured a settlement that will help prevent spills, protect water quality, and improve the safety of Union Pacific’s operations in 20 communities across Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming,” said Jim Martin, EPA regional administrator. “Union Pacific has already begun putting necessary measures in place and we will ensure they continue to do so.”

As part of the settlement, Union Pacific will pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million of which approximately $1.4 million will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a fund used by federal agencies to respond to oil spills. The remaining $100,000 will be deposited in the U.S.

Treasury for the coal spills and stormwater violations. In addition, the settlement requires the company to develop a management and reporting system to ensure compliance with SPCC regulations, FRP regulations, and storm water requirements at 20 rail yards in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Union Pacific must take further actions to control stormwater runoff at the Burnham Rail Yard in Denver, which are anticipated to prevent the discharge of approximately 2,500 pounds of chemical oxygen demand, 50 pounds of nitrate, 11,000 pounds of total suspended solids, and 30 pounds of zinc annually to waters in the Denver area.

This settlement will benefit many communities in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, many of which are disadvantaged, by requiring Union Pacific to install secondary containment to safely store oil and prevent oil spills from leaving its properties. Further, it will require the company to designate an environmental vice-president responsible for complying with oil spill prevention and stormwater control requirements at the 20 railyards. The majority of the 20 locations cited in the settlement are in disadvantaged areas with significant low-income and/ or minority populations.
The complaint alleges the following violations:
  • · Six oil spills in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming
  • · Three coal spills in Colorado
  • · Inadequate SPCC plans and/or inadequate SPCC plan implementation (e.g., inadequate secondary containment) at the following 20 rail yards:
    • o Denver 36th Street, Burnham, Denver North, East Portal Moffatt Tunnel, Grand Junction, Kremmling, Pueblo, and Rifle, all in Colorado
    • o Helper, Ogden, Provo, Roper, Salt Lake City North, and Summit, all in Utah
      • § Also for six rail yards in Utah, failure to provide certifications and reports for storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) as required by the Utah Multi-Sector General Permit.
  • o Bill, Buford, Cheyenne, Green River, Laramie, and Rawlins, all in Wyoming
    • § Also for the Rawlins, Wyoming rail yard, an inadequate FRP and a failed Government Initiated Unannounced Exercise
For more information on the Clean Water Act, visit EPA's compliance web page:
For more information on Environmental Justice within EPA Region 8 please visit:
Help EPA protect our nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: