A Boulder district court judge struck down a 2013 voter-approved fracking ban in Lafayette. The move follows similar court rulings against Longmont and Fort Collins, where voters passed bans or moratoriums restricting hydraulic fracturing.
The lawsuit was initiated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, which argued that a ban on fracking was effectively a ban on oil and gas development.
The small and sunny town of Del Norte, and most of southwestern Colorado’s San Luis Valley, is served by one major power line. It comes in the valley through stretches of the Rio Grande National Forest, where long periods of drought and spruce beetle infestations have led to significantly higher fire danger in the last 15 years.
Del Norte is the example of a community at risk, one that needs to find creative solutions to a possible electrical grid disaster.
In southwest Denver, just blocks off a stretch of West Evans Avenue liberally dotted with auto repair shops and paint stores, a ladder stretches up the side of a small, one-story tan house. Workers atop the roof wield tape measures and oil crayons, calling off numbers and making marks outlining a setup for solar panels.
The house belongs to Erika Caraveo, a short, soft-spoken woman who offers child care services as her main means of income. Normally, Caraveo couldn't afford the cost of a solar installation.
"I'm the only one paying the bills. I'm a single mom," she said.
Flaring – the practice of burning natural gas, often when it's produced as a byproduct of oil drilling – has come under scrutiny in recent years. In part this is because new oil plays are resulting in a lot of gas being flared off.
A new map released by the group SkyTruth uses U.S. satellite data to show flaring in the United States You can see flaring between March and August 2014, and zoom in and out to see flaring in specific locations.