Oil and Gas

Recent data shows that the U.S. had more minable oil and natural gas reserves than ever before.

Oil and gas
Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is ramping up air monitoring near a school in Greeley after researchers visiting the area detected a spike in the level of the chemical benzene. The state is also investigating several nearby oil and gas facilities as possible sources.

Weld County (left photo) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (right photo).

This week, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, or COGCC, is meeting to vote on new rules to regulate flowlines in our state. This comes after the National Transportation Safety Board released their report about a 2017 home explosion in Firestone back in October.

KUNC's Colorado Edition spoke with Erin Martinez, a survivor of that explosion in Firestone, who will deliver testimony at the COGCC's meeting on Thursday. 

KUNC file photo

This week, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, or COGCC, is meeting to vote on new rules to regulate flowlines in our state. Flowlines are the underground pipelines that connect oil and gas wells to storage tanks.

Oil and gas tanks
Joe Mahoney / I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS

Colorado oil and gas operators could see tighter requirements around abandoning, testing and disclosing information for thousands of underground pipelines across the state after a public hearing in Greeley this week.

Oil and gas
Matt Bloom / KUNC

Colorado’s oil and gas regulators say they will start putting some drilling applications through a more rigorous review process after a study found people face short term health risks, such as headaches and dizziness, if they are within 2,000 feet of the wells.

The study released Thursday specifically found the health risks occur when a well is being constructed, with the highest risk coming at a time when a process called “flowback” occurs.

A group opposed to hydraulic fracturing announced a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt new oil and gas drilling permits until updated regulations are in place.

Colorado Rising attorney Joe Salazar said the Denver District Court complaint alleges the state is issuing drilling permits under rules made obsolete by a new law.

Call it a sign of the times.

Renewable energy has gotten so cheap that even oil giant Exxon Mobil, which reported $20.8 billion in earnings in 2018, is getting in on the savings.

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

KUNC file photo

Colorado has just begun rewriting its oil and gas rules under a new law that flips the state's priorities from producing energy to protecting the public, but industry defenders and critics are already testing the legislation's limits.

Officials in energy-friendly Weld County say the new law gives the county complete control over the location of new wells in unincorporated areas. That could challenge the state's attempts to tighten regulations.

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