Archive for the ‘fracking’ Category

By Jonathan Romeo / The Durango Herald

A BP pipeline running along Sauls Creek in Bayfield was discovered ruptured last week, spilling coal-bed methane produced water into the creek and forcing the emergency construction of an earthen dam to prevent contamination downstream.

According to state reports, a 6-inch fiberglass gathering line was found leaking around 7 a.m. Dec. 13, about four miles west of Bayfield on National Forest Service land off County Road 527, also known as Forest Service Road 608.

BP reported the creek was dry on Dec. 13, but the next day a state oil and gas inspector found Sauls Creek “contained runoff from snow melt.” An early estimate shows the produced water traveled 2,300 feet along the channel bottom.

However, BP on Monday could not say how long the spill had been occurring, how much was released and what the contents of the product were.

The cause of the spill, too, remains unknown.

A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission representative wrote in an emailed response that more information will be included in supplemental reports and through ongoing water sampling.

After discovering the spill, BP crews immediately closed the line, shut down 17 wells and constructed a temporary earthen dam to contain the produced water from spilling further downstream.

A Dec. 15 follow up report indicated hydro-evacuation trucks were removing the standing water in the creek bed, recovering a total of 150 barrels – about 6,300 gallons – of produced water mixed with snowmelt.

The pipeline repair required that County Road 527 be restricted to one lane of traffic for four days last week as BP crews partially excavated the road, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Bond.

Brett Clanton, a BP representative, did not address several of The Durango Herald’s questions about the incident. He wrote the spill was isolated within two hours of discovery, the produced water contained no hydrocarbons and that no residents in the surrounding area were affected.

“With safety as our highest priority, we will continue to coordinate with relevant agencies to complete any further remediation efforts as warranted,” Clanton wrote.

Produced water is a briny fluid captured in the rock of oil reservoirs that is extracted along with oil and gas. It is considered the largest toxic byproduct of extraction operations, and can contain salt, chemicals, residual oil and heavy metals, though the contents vary from well to well.

Although the chemical makeup of the substance released into Sauls Creek is unknown, a preliminary sampling showed the water contained 4,000 milligram per liter of total dissolved solids, compared to background values of less than 300 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids are a measure of all dissolved substances in water, and is generally used to gauge salinity. Salinity, in turn, can be an indicator for concentrations of chloride, sodium, magnesium, bicarbonate and sulfates, among others.

BP operates about 30 gas wells in the Sauls Creek area that produce coal-bed methane gas and produced water that is transmitted by pipeline to a processing facility in Bayfield.

BP likely faces “some kind of enforcement action due to impact on waters of the state,” oil and gas commission spokesman Todd Hartman wrote in an email.

The company must continue further remediation efforts and water sampling. The temporary dam remains in place as these actions continue, Hartman said.

As of Dec. 19, there have been 19 reported spills in La Plata County in 2016 accounting for approximately 350 barrels of spilled substances, mostly produced water.

BP has accounted for 12 of those incidents, spilling about 165 barrels, according to COGCC data.

Two spills (including this recent one) did not have estimates for amounts leaked.

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We are very happy to announce that, for the 8th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 18-26, 2016 (exact location to be announced). WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that Wild Roots Feral Futures takes place on occupied/stolen indigenous territory, primarily of the Nuutsiu (occasionally spelled Nuciu or Nuchu, aka “Ute”) people, as well as Diné [“Navajo”], Apache, and others. In recognition of this reality and as a first step in confronting it, we seek to establish proactive working relationships with those whose stolen land we gather upon, and open the space we temporarily gather in to the centering and amplification of indigenous voices and struggles. Our understanding is that any community of resistance that doesn’t center the voices of indigenous people and put their leadership in the forefront is a movement that is part of the problem. [Read more here…]

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Regarding the rewilding and ancestral earth skills component of WRFF, we would like to extend a similar invitation to folks with skills, knowledge, talent, or specialization in these areas to join us in the facilitation of workshops and skill shares such as fire making, shelter building, edible and medicinal plants, stalking awareness, tool & implement making, etc. We are also seeking folks with less “ancestral” outdoor survival skills such as orienteering and navigation, etc.

Daily camp life, along with workshops, skill shares, great food, friends, and music, will also include the volunteer labor necessary to camp maintenance. Please come prepared to pitch in and contribute to the workload, according to your abilities. We encourage folks who would like to plug in further to show up a few days before the official start of the event to begin set-up and stay a few days after the official end to help clean up.

Site scouting will continue until early June, at which point scouts and other organizers will rendezvous, report-back their scouting recon, and come to a consensus regarding a site location. We are also planning on choosing a secondary, back-up site location as a contingency plan for various potential scenarios. Email us for more info on getting involved with scouting and site selection processes.

WRFF is timed to take place before the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, allowing eco-defenders to travel from one to the other. Thus we encourage the formation of a caravan from WRFF to the EF! RRR (caravans and ride shares can be coordinated through our message board at feralfutures.proboards.com.

We are currently accepting donations in the form of supplies and/or monetary contributions. Please email us for details.

Please forward this call widely, spread the word, and stay tuned for more updates!

For The Wild,

~The Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers’ collective

Email: feralfutures(at)riseup(dot)net

lynx_rendezvousimagesmall squared

For the sake of comprehensiveness, we are including below our original call-out as used in years past, which is a living document, changing and evolving as we ourselves learn and grow:

We are looking for folks of all sorts to join us and help facilitate workshops, talks, discussions, skill shares, direct action and medic trainings, wild food walks, conflict transformation, and much more! We will be focusing on many things, including but by no means limited to anarchist theory and praxis, unpacking privilege, decolonization, rewilding, ancestral skills, indigenous solidarity, direct action, forest defense, earth liberation, animal liberation, security culture, civil disobedience, hand to hand combat, survival skills, evasion tactics, green anarchism, anti-civ, post-civ, star watching and navigation, maps and orienteering, shelter building, permaculture, and whatever YOU care to bring and provide. But we need everyone’s help to make this as safe, positive, and productive a space as it can be. Our own knowledge, skills, and capacities are limited. We need YOUR help!

(more…)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering allowing a private company to build a 130 mile pipeline and greatly increase drilling near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Chaco is a World Heritage Site known for magnificent architecture built 1000 years ago by the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indians. There is concern among archaeologists that damage could occur to the wider cultural landscape around the canyon, erasing part of the legacy of these fascinating ancient people. Mike Eisenfeld of San Juan Citizens Alliance takes us on a tour of the exploratory drilling already underway.

A group of Diné on the first day of a 200-mile walk through their ancestral homeland. (Photo: ©2015 Julie Dermansky)

A group of Diné on the first day of a 200-mile walk through their ancestral homeland. (Photo: ©2015 Julie Dermansky)

By Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog

Beneath a giant methane gas cloud recently identified by NASA, the oil and gas fracking industry is rapidly expanding in northwestern New Mexico. Flares that light up the night sky at drilling sites along the stretch of Route 550 that passes through the San Juan Basin, which sits on top of the oil rich Mancos Shale, are tell-tale indicators of the fracking boom.

Much of the land being fracked belongs to the federal government. The rest is a mixture of state, private and Navajo Nation land.

The region is known to the Diné (Navajo) as Dinétah, the land of their ancestors.  It is home of the Bisti Badlands and Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a World Heritage Site.

Click here to read the full article…

Photo courtesy of Skytruth

Drilling in the Uinta Basin near the town of Ouray. Drilling locations appear as bright spots and are connected by a network of roads and pipeline corridors. / Photo courtesy of Skytruth

By Robin Cooley, Earth Justice

The people living in the Uinta Basin in eastern Utah are the unwitting participants in a massive scientific experiment.  What happens when you put more than 11,000 oil and gas wells in a geologic basin and then seal off the air for days or weeks on end?  And the initial results are alarming—smog pollution that exceeds the federal standard set to protect public health by a whopping 89 percent.

During wintertime inversions, when cold air is trapped near the ground by warm air above, the Uinta Basin suffers from a thick blanket of smog that rivals Los Angeles on a bad day. In its recent State of the Air Report, the American Lung Association gave Uintah County an “F” for ozone pollution, the key ingredient of smog. Scientists have compared the effects of ozone pollution to getting a sunburn on your lungs. It is most harmful to children, seniors, and people with heart and lung problems.

In the Uinta Basin, fracking is the primary culprit. A recent study shows that oil and gas development in the Uinta Basin is responsible for smog-forming emissions (volatile organic compounds) that are equivalent to the amount coming out of the tailpipe of 100 million cars and trucks.

The EPA, the state of Utah, and the energy companies are spending millions to study the problem. The Utah Department of Health is also investigating after a local midwife raised concerns about a possible increase in infant death rates.

But studying this problem is not enough to protect people living and working in the Uinta Basin. EPA must take the steps necessary to ensure that the air is clean. In 2012, the EPA refused to designate the Uinta Basin as a “nonattainment area” for ozone, which would trigger the state’s obligation to develop a clean-up plan under the Clean Air Act. On October 21, 2014, Earthjustice went to federal court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, WildEarth Guardians and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, to argue that it is time for the EPA to stop dragging its feet and start protecting public health. Given the ongoing oil and gas boom in the Uinta Basin, there is no time to waste.

Fracking puts pressure on Moab

Posted: January 3, 2015 by earthfirstdurango in fracking, oil & gas, water
Tags: , , ,

A lunar eclipse is seen framed within Turret Arch at Arches National Park. The gas and oil industry around Moab is making a visible impression. Some are concerned it is threatening scenic views and recreation areas.

Proliferation of wells threatens scenic values, recreation industry (not to mention the land, its inhabitants, and our water supply!)

By Nancy Lofholm, The Denver Post

MOAB, Utah (AP) – A different kind of spire is jutting into the iconic red rock vistas of Moab.

It is the scaffolding of drilling rigs, and it heralds a new chapter in Moab’s long history of energy extraction. Moab may have been comfortable with the uranium industry that put it on the map in another century. But having an oil patch amid this area’s popular national parks and renowned recreational backcountry is jarring to some residents.

Gas and oil wells have been drilled piecemeal around here for decades. But today’s wells represent a kind of backcountry industrialization that this area hasn’t dealt with before.

The area where the drilling is taking place attracts an estimated 500,000 backcountry recreationists a year. Those visitors are now a bedrock of Moab’s economy. Seventy percent of jobs in Grand County derive from tourism, and recreation accounts for three times more of the public lands revenue that brings in about $200 million to Moab each year. Extractive industries account for the rest.

On the other side of the economic impact pie, the gas and oil wells that currently are producing add about $2.6 million to Grand County coffers annually. And gas and oil money that flows back to the county from the state topped $1 million last year. The gas and oil reserves still in the ground under the red rock country point to even more future economic windfall. Grand County has an estimated 145 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 32.5 million barrels of oil.

Click here to read the full article…

Nihígaal béé Íina: Our Journey For Existence

The Navajo Nation sits on one of the richest energy corridors in the United States, and for close to a century, we have been on the frontline on resource colonization to provide cheap energy and water to the cities in the Southwest. Since the 1920’s, our land and people have been sacrificed for energy extraction for oil, gas, uranium, and coal, which is poisoning our land, water, air, and people. Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 1/4 of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of about 60%, and our young people are leaving due to lack of opportunity. Now our people and land are facing the onset fracking and a proposed pipeline, which will transport crude oil through 130 miles in Dinétah, the emergence place of our people, in the name of “economic development”.

As young Diné people, we realize that we can’t continue on like this. We need clean air, water, and a viable lifeway for our people and for all human beings. In facing this crisis of our future, the idea of walking to raise awareness was born.

We are walking to honor the legacy of our ancestors during Hwééldi, who, a 150 years ago, were forced to walk hundreds of miles in the winter during away from our homelands in the winter to be imprisoned for four years in the name of American colonization. During this time of great suffering, our ancestors thought of our homeland, mountains, and prayed that future generations would carry on our way of life. It is in their memory and out of this profound love for the land that we are walking. It is time to heal from the legacy and trauma of colonization that we having been living under for too long.

It is our intention to walk throughout the Navajo Nation to document both the beauty of land and people and how this is being desecrated by resource extraction. We will do this through a social media campaign and a documentary films. Along our route, we will visit communities to listen to the issues our people are facing and share information about the state of water, air, land, and health, as our communities often have very little access to media or information about these issues. Our hope is that we can help to inspire our people to become engage in the care our land, air, and water, and culture so that we will have a future as Diné.

On January 6, 2015, we will start from the fireplace and doorway of Diné Bikéyah, at Dził Nahodiłii (Huerfano, NM) and Ch’ool’i’i , the emergence place of our people, which is threatened by fracking. There are over 400 proposed drill sites and within the past couple months over 100 have been started in the region. From there we will walk to communities through the Eastern Agency, and then to Tsoodzil (Mt. Taylor, Grants, NM) which also threaten by uranium mining. This first leg of our journey will be nearly 300 miles, and will take us approximately 3 weeks.

In the seasons to come, we will extend our walk to the other mountains and regions of Diné Bikéyah. To Doo’o’k’osliid (San Francisco Peak, Flagstaff, AZ) in the Spring, the Dibé Ntsáá (Hesperus, CO) in the Summer, and in the fall we will go all the way to Sisnajiní (Blanca Peak, Alamosa, CO). All combined, we will be walking over 1000 miles in 2015.

We are asking for support to cover the expenses of this journey through 2015 including gear, food, media/outreach and educational materials.

Gear – It is our intention to use as little fossil fuels as possible during our journey, so we want to carry as much as possible, therefore we are asking for funding for packs and lightweight gear including sleeping bags, tents, etc… We will also be facing extreme weather during this walk, so funding will also be used for jackets, thermals, and other cold/extreme weather clothing. We also will be needing socks, good shoes, and first aid supplies to keep us going.

Food – food to feed our walkers daily and our support crew.

Media/Outreach – a major component of this walk is to raise awareness about the issues we are facing and document the impacts of resource colonization, so we need funding for media equipment and too get the word out via internet, newspaper, radio, and television.

Educational Materials – this is to cover the expense of printing materials and documents to distribute to communities as we pass through. We want to share as much information as possible

Axhé’hee! Thank you for your support!

Fundraiser | Facebook

nihigaalbeeiina [at] gmail [dot] com

Ban Fracking on Federal Lands!

From Energy Reality:

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

•    Click here to learn more about fracking.
•    Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
•    Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
•    Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

Also see:

Is Nothing Sacred? Fracking and Chaco Culture National Historic Park

BLM narrows proposed Chaco drilling sites to four

 

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

– See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

– See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

– See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

– See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

From the Utah Geological Survey (industry-aiding governmental source): "This Uinta Basin water study will help alleviate problems associated with produced saline water as a means to facilitate increased conventional hydrocarbon production and help resolve water-related environmental barriers to possible oil shale development."(Associated Press) SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on its draft study of a company’s proposal to significantly boost its gas and oil production in the Uintah Basin.

Newfield Exploration Co., Utah’s largest crude oil producer, would be able to add 5,750 new oil and gas wells over a 16-year period at an existing field under the plan.

The Deseret News reported the Monument Butte Project covers 120,000 acres near Myton, and would result in 170 miles of new roads and new pipelines in Duchesne and Uintah counties.

The BLM says its plan is the most restrictive for new oil and gas development across sensitive landscapes while still meeting project needs.

The agency will accept public comment on the plan through Feb. 4.

NM County First in US to Ban ALL Oil and Gas Extraction

Posted: December 26, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in fracking, oil & gas
Tags: , ,

Mora Valley, New Mexico

From EcoWatch:

Monday the County Commission of Mora County, located in northeastern New Mexico, became the first county in the U.S. to pass an ordinance banning all oil and gas extraction.

Drafted with assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance establishes a local Bill of Rights—including a right to clean air and water, a right to a healthy environment and the rights of nature—while prohibiting activities which would interfere with those rights, including oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.

Communities across the country are facing drilling and fracking. Fracking brings significant environmental impacts including the production of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater, which can affect drinking water and waterways. Studies have found that fracking is a major global warming contributor, and have linked the underground disposal of frack wastewater to earthquakes.

“Existing state and federal oil and gas laws force fracking and other extraction activities into communities, overriding concerns of residents,” explained Thomas Linzey, Esq., CELDF executive director. “Today’s vote in Mora County is a clear rejection of this structure of law which elevates corporate rights over community rights, which protects industry over people and the natural environment.”

“This vote is a clear expression of the rights guaranteed in the New Mexico Constitution which declares that all governing authority is derived from the people. With this vote, Mora is joining a growing people’s movement for community and nature’s rights,” said Linzey.

“The vote of Mora commission chair John Olivas and vice-chair Alfonso Griego to ban drilling and fracking is not only commendable, it is a statement of leadership that sets the bar for communities across the State of New Mexico,” said CELDF community organizer and Mora County resident, Kathleen Dudley. She explained that the ordinance calls for an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution that “elevates community rights above corporate property rights.”

Mora County joins Las Vegas, NM, which in 2012 passed an ordinance, with assistance from CELDF, which prohibits fracking and establishes rights for the community and the natural environment. CELDF assisted the City of Pittsburgh, PA, to draft the first local Bill of Rights which prohibits fracking in 2010. Communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York and New Mexico have enacted similar ordinances.

Mora County joins more than 150 communities across the country which have asserted their right to local self-governance through the adoption of local laws that seek to control corporate activities within their municipality.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.