oil and gas

Marci Krivonen

CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business released a study last week tracking how much money the oil and gas industry has contributed to the Colorado economy. Researchers found billions of dollars were generated over a four-year period.

The study was commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and looks at energy development in each county from 2008 to 2012. During that time, the energy industry generated more than $126 billion statewide, the analysis finds.

Marci Krivonen

As the fight to keep natural gas drilling out of an area known as the Thompson Divide continues, two Roaring Fork Valley residents who operate lodging near the Divide flew over the contested area last week with Ecoflight. They say energy development would hurt their business. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen went on the flyover and filed this report.

The clouds are clearing as our Cessna 210 leaves the ground. It’s a smooth takeoff and right away, snowcapped peaks come into view.

Bureau of Land Management

The Colorado branch of the federal Bureau of Land Management is welcoming a new district manager. Joe Meyer will be in charge of the Northwest corner of the state, including the field office closest to the Roaring Fork Valley, in Silt. The long-time Wyoming Field Manager will begin his new job in Colorado next week. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with him from his office in Casper.

Joe Meyer is the BLM’s new Northwest Colorado District Manager. His home base will be in Grand Junction.

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.  

Valley Roundup - July 11th, 2014

Jul 11, 2014

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.

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