The oil and gas industry on Monday hit Longmont with a lawsuit to kill voters’ recent ban on fracking within city limits.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association contends the ban is illegal because it denies mineral owners the right to develop their property and blocks operations that state laws allow.
A hotter, drier climate is worsening the imbalance between water supply and rising demand in seven Western states where 40 million people depend on the Colorado River, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday after completion of a three-year study.
Colorado regulators, industry reps and environmentalists on Monday dove into the details of creating a before-and-after groundwater testing system to better detect contamination and ease concerns about drilling.
“This is our attempt to get more buy-in, more acceptability for these activities where they haven’t happened yet,” said Mike King, state director of natural resources, also serving on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Oil and gas have contaminated groundwater in 17 percent of the 2,078 spills and slow releases that companies reported to state regulators over the past five years, state data show.
The damage is worse in Weld County, where 40 percent of spills reach groundwater, the data show.
Most of the spills are happening less than 30 feet underground — not in the deep well bores that carry drilling fluids into rock.
BUCKEYE — The scorching of Colorado forests by super-intense wildfires is worsening the water woes for Eldon Ackerman and other Larimer County farmers, jeopardizing thousands of irrigated acres that normally produce millions of dollars in crops.
Importing water from the Missouri River to Colorado’s semi-arid Front Range has emerged as an option western states are considering to deal with increasing overuse of the Colorado River.
That diversion is listed as a long-term possibility after review of more than 100 sometimes far-fetched ideas submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Among them: “Towing an iceberg wrapped in some type of plastic to California and capturing the meltwater”; tapping the Mississippi River; and “filling large nylon water bags” in Alaska for distribution down south.
Bureau of Reclamation officials on Tuesday said the “Missouri River Reuse Project” will be evaluated for feasibility following the release in coming weeks of a federal government study on water supply for the West.
The increasingly common practice of disposing of oil and gas drilling wastewater by injecting it underground can trigger earthquakes, according to federal scientists who studied quakes since 1970 in Colorado and neighboring states.