oil and gas

Huffington Post/Associated Press

Supporters of oil and gas production will hold a discussion tonight in Aspen. The Pitkin County Republicans are hosting filmmakers who have challenged the premise and facts behind the anti-fracking film “Gasland.” One of the goals is to figure out whether or not fracking is a good idea.  

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories of the week in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This week - Fracking. 

Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Times toured a drilling and hydraulic fracturing rig in Parachute recently and this week our stories ran.  Joining us are Scott Condon reporter for the Aspen Times and our own Elise Thatcher.

On the November ballot this year voters will have a number of fracking issues to decide, among them whether local communities should have control over oil and gas exploration.

Our reporting looked at one fracking operation run by WPX Energy.  It is one of the big players in the industry.  We got an up close look at what is going on at drilling rig H & P 318.

Today we have a tour of a drilling and fracking site near the Roaring Fork Valley

We’ll hear exactly what goes on there and what it sounds like.

That site and many others in Colorado use infrastructure called injection wells and they’re causing earthquakes in Oklahoma.

Legal marijuana plants and edibles must be tested before they’re sold and just three labs are doing all the testing.

A new brewery in Glenwood Springs debuts a new kind of beer in the Valley – be prepared to pucker up.

And a local favorite tells all about his new book, about hosting the long running Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Shemin Ge

Drilling for oil and gas brings up a lot of water. If operators don’t reuse it for something else, they often pump it back down into the ground. The water goes down in what are called  injection wells-- and new research shows they can definitely cause earthquakes, at least in Oklahoma. Geology Professor Shemin Ge is with the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked on the study, and spoke with APR’s Elise Thatcher. Ge says it took different kinds of scientists working together to figure out what’s going on.

Roger Adams

The word “fracking” has come to mean drilling in general for oil and gas-- and a major concern for communities and environmentalists in Colorado and elsewhere.In reality the process of hydraulic fracturing is a specialized procedure used to create cracks in shale deposits thousands of feet underground which in turn releases trapped natural gas.  There are hundreds of fracked wells in Garfield County. Often you can see them from the highway.  Recently Aspen Public Radio got a tour of a fracking operation run by WPX Energy near Parachute.  Hear the story by APR's Elise Thatcher below.  See a slideshow of photographs of the rig by APR's Roger Adams HERE.

Screenshot from aspeninstitute.org

Colorado residents can vote this fall on whether communities can limit oil and gas drilling. The state supreme court approved four ballot measures Monday, June 30th, that allows such questions. The decision comes as Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is in Aspen, speaking at the Ideas Festival about existing rules for the industry. He was joined yesterday by the head of the Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp.

Governor John Hickenlooper’s office said he’s still in discussions about whether to call lawmakers back to the state capitol for a special session on oil and gas issues. The goal would be to pass a compromise bill and avoid a fight at the ballot box.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is reiterating its opposition to drilling in the Thompson Divide area through a letter to the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM is taking comments on its review of 65 oil and gas leases that stretch over the White River National Forest. Twenty-five of those leases are in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale.

Residents vote for change on the boards that represent Carbondale’s emergency services and a mid-valley park district.

New test results show third graders in the Roaring Fork Valley are better at reading than the statewide average.

A state senator wraps up her time under the gold dome in Denver.

And oil and gas proponents voice strong support for continuing to drill in Garfield County.

We’ll let you know what to expect for the upcoming Aspen Music Festival and School summer season.

And we get a taste of what Aspen middle and high school band students learned this year from a long-time jazz musician. 

Bureau of Land Management

A set of meetings on how to manage dozens of oil and gas leases in Western Colorado wrapped up last week, and opinions vary wildly. The Bureau of Land Management held the meetings in April and May to solicit public feedback.

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