Energy

Within seconds, a bright, white flash erupted on the lower deck of West Delta 105 E, an oil-production platform positioned a dozen miles off the Louisiana coast. Disoriented, one crew member found himself 10 feet away from where he had been working before he blacked out. Another likened the impact to a sledgehammer blow to his head. A third told investigators he felt like he'd been hit by an 18-wheeler, his hard hat, glasses and earplugs knocked off in the blast.

The Bureau of Land Management plans to put up more than 20,000 acres of Colorado land for lease by oil and gas drilling companies. Much of that land sits near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

States like Colorado and Wyoming require that new oil and gas wells be built at least 500 feet away from existing homes. But new research shows that might not be far enough away to protect people’s health.

If it weren’t for the snowy alpine peaks in the background, camels would look perfectly at home in the undulating yellow sand hills of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

“It’s really a very special place. And it is very unusual. It’s almost like an alien landscape when you happen upon it,” says Vanessa Mazal, who has been visiting the national park since she was a kid and now works with the National Parks Conservation Association.

ED SUOMINEN / FLICKR ALL CREATIVE COMMONS

 

The federal Clean Power Plan is currently on hold due to various legal challenges. Not one of the Attorneys General from the Mountain West States has signed on to a brief by a coalition of states supporting the plan.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Utilities is researching the possibility of closing its Martin Drake Power Plant sooner than a previously established 2035 deadline. Early results from a new survey suggest public support for such a move.

Colorado is a resilient state. The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.

But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is scheduled to go before the Nebraska Public Service Commission next week, the final hurdle before the agency decides whether the pipeline’s path should be approved.

Hickenlooper file photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other climate goals.  Hickenlooper also says the state will join the U. S. Climate Alliance, which is a group of states looking to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord earlier this year.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Governor John Hickenlooper wants the state to reevaluate how it inspects oil and gas wells in the wake of a fatal home explosion in Firestone. An oil and gas flow line was found to be severed and leaking methane and other gases. Two people died and another was critically injured in the explosion.  

91.5 KRCC

Colorado energy regulators are trying to quell the public's fears after a house built near an oil and gas well exploded, killing two men. The explosion happened in the small community of Firestone, thirty miles north of Denver, where oil and gas wells are common.  State officials are still investigating the explosion and don't know what caused it.

Ed Suominen / FLICKR All creative Commons

Pueblo City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution today that places a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr - Creative Commons

The governors of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada have announced intentions to create an electric vehicle charging network on interstate highways throughout those three states.

US Department of Energy / Screengrab: Better Buildings Challenge SWAP

The U.S. Air Force Academy is engaging in some friendly competition with the Naval Academy in Maryland to see who can become more energy efficient. It's all part of a Department of Energy reality show called Better Buildings Challenge SWAP.

Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future

A recently released sustainability report celebrates environmental and cultural action in the Pikes Peak region.   

Tuesday Newscast, 5/17/16, 07:04 AM

May 17, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the city of Longmont's hydraulic fracturing ban and the moratorium in Fort Collins Monday. The state's highest court said that Longmont's ban conflicts with state law and is invalid and unenforceable. The court ruled that state law also preempts the moratorium in Fort Collins.

Tuesday Newscast, 4/12/16, 5:32 PM

Apr 12, 2016

Newscast for Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


Thursday Newscast, 2/11/16, 07:04 AM

Feb 11, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, February 11, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

David Amster-Olszewski, a 2009 graduate of Colorado College, has been named to Forbes magazine's 2016 list of "30 Under 30" for his work in the energy sector.  Amster-Olszewski, 28, founded his company SunShare in Colorado Springs, with a community solar garden at Venetucci Farm

Bente Birkeland/RMCR

The Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether local cities in Colorado can either ban hydraulic fracturing or declare a moratorium.

The chamber was filled with a who's who in the energy world, from policy experts and state and city officials, to top attorneys and environmental activists, highlighting the importance of the cases.

Thursday Newscast, 11/19/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 19, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 


Tuesday Newscast, 11/17/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 17, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 5:32 PM:


Thursday Newscast, 10/29/15, 6:04 PM

Oct 29, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, October 29, 2015, 6:04 PM:

Oil drilling on Colorado's populous Front Range has forced more interactions between communities and the energy industry – and that's caused tension. At the recent annual Rocky Mountain Energy Summit, one of the discussions centered on how to improve relations between the industry and the public.

It's an ongoing issue that the state will tackle in a new rule making hearing.

Tuesday Newscast, 9/8/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 8, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • The focus on a toxic mine spill that fouled rivers in three Western states is shifting to Congress, where lawmakers this week begin a series of hearings into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accident.
     
  • A $1.2 million dollar grant will help low-income Coloradans in rural areas get access solar power.

Wednesday Newscast, 9/2/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 2, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday September 2, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Friday Newscast, 8/21/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 21, 2015

Newscast for Friday, August 21, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

  • Construction is underway in Pueblo County large solar array that will generate enough electricity to power around 30,000 homes.
     
  • Colorado’s apple orchards are bearing less fruit this year.

Wednesday Newscast, 8/19/15

Aug 19, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, August 19, 2015:

  • Business groups in Colorado are urging state regulators to finalize oil and gas rules recommended by a task force created by the Governor.
     
  • The La Plata County Sheriff's Office is releasing more information in the case of Dylan Redwine, the Monument 13-year-old who disappeared in 2012.
     

Bente Birkeland

Dan Haley is the new executive director of the state's largest oil and gas industry trade group, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. He began the position on June 1st. His background is in media and journalism. He spent 20 years as a journalist and editor, serving as the editorial page editor at the Denver Post. He then joined the private sector as a media consultant.
 

Interview Highlights with Dan Haley:

On How his Media Background will help him lead the industry in Colorado.

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