A deal announced Monday by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Jared Polis to study local oil and gas siting conflicts appears to have averted an intra-party fight over controversial ballot initiatives that would have let communities ban hydraulic fracturing.
They agreed on the creation of an 18-member task force to make recommendations next year to the governor and state legislature on the regulation of the drilling practice, known as fracking, near homes, businesses and schools.
In return, Polis agreed to drop his support for the two initiatives that would amend the state constitution to set a 2,000-foot minimum setback for wells near occupied buildings, four times the current minimum, and allowed communities to set stricter drilling regulations than the state, including bans.
Despite the concerted efforts of North Carolina lawmakers to create a legal framework to get fracking going, low estimates of the state’s gas reserves mean expectations are “not that high” for attracting the interest of drillers, Mining and Energy Commission Chairman James Womack told E&E.
On the downside of Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, an understaffed, unprepared Department of Environmental Protection has failed to follow up on reports of contamination, hasn’t forced drillers to deal with tainted water, and has used an inspection policy that’s a quarter of a century old, according to a report from the state’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Bloomberg reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General has issued a strong defense of his investigation of hydraulic fracturing, ignoring a Republican request that he stop the probe and rejecting charges that the study is inappropriate and a waste of money.
"This review ls consistent with the OIG's responsibilities to oversee the programs of the EPA," wrote EPA IG Arthur Elkins, Jr., in response to a letter from a group of Republican senators. "The OIG does not consider its evaluation as a duplication of prior or ongoing work."
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, D, said he wouldn't be able to win enough support for a measure to give towns more control over hydraulic fracturing, setting the stage for the issue to be decided by a pair of ballot measures in November, The New York Times reports.
DENTON, Texas (AP) — The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve rejected a bid early Wednesday morning to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community after eight hours of public testimony.
Denton City Council members voted down the petition 5-2, sending the proposal to a public ballot in November.
DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas community that sits on what's believed to hold one of the biggest natural gas reserves in the U.S. could become the first city in the state to ban hydraulic fracturing, with Denton City Council members set to vote Tuesday night on a citizen-led petition.
Industry groups and state regulators warn that such a ban ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to the city economy. The City Council is holding a public hearing Tuesday night, with a vote to follow.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater.
Fracking generates vast amounts of wastewater, far more than traditional drilling methods. The water is pumped into injection wells, which send the waste thousands of feet underground. No one knows for certain exactly what happens to the liquids after that. Scientists wonder whether they could trigger quakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults.
More research is beginning to appear that suggests ways in which the fight against climate change -- even including the imposition of a carbon tax -- could boost economic growth, The New York Times reports.
The owners of the Ivanpah solar project in the Mojave Desert -- including NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy -- have applied for Treasury Department grants even as they have delayed paying back millions borrowed through Energy Department loans, according to documents tracked by The Wall Street Journal.
Ample crude supplies were continuing to outweigh concerns about tensions in the Middle East Tuesday. U.S. benchmark crude for November delivery gained 69 cents to settle at $91.56 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude dropped 12 cents to close at $96.85, Reuters reports.
Buckeye Partners appears to be on schedule to start moving Canadian oil sands crude to its rebuilt terminal in Perth Amboy in the third quarter, FuelFix reports, noting that the rail shipments will need to go through New York state but the exact route is so far unclear.
The spending bill signed by President Obama last week covers additional costs at the beleaguered Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, while other energy measures approved by lawmakers before they left Capitol Hill to concentrate on the November elections include language pushed by Energy Committee chair Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., that would strengthen energy ties with Israel, Roll Call reports.
Democrat Michelle Nunn, running for a Senate seat in Georgia against Republican businessman David Perdue, would back sound environmental policies, the League of Conservation Voters said in an endorsement for her candidacy despite her support for the Keystone XL pipeline, The Hill reports.
The Cook Political Report predicts that the 2014 midterm elections may see more ads about energy and environmental issues than ever before, in part because of the money and focus from activist Tom Steyer and in part because energy concerns play a key role in important races, according to Time.
There’s “tremendous potential” in the idea of generating energy from garbage, both in converting waste to ethanol or synthetic gas but also in generating oil products from plastic, an official from the American Chemistry Council told Fox News.
Just over a year since he took over as Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser is focusing the company more intensively on energy, the latest step being the acquisition of Texas oil equipment maker Dresser-Rand, The Wall Street Journal reports.