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Late last year, the Department of the Interior made permanent a two percent administrative fee, charged to states that receive Federal oil and gas royalties. In Colorado, that could mean up to a three million dollar loss in annual funds.
Congressman Scott Tipton introduced a bill to counter that fee last May and hopes to see it through to a Presidential signature this year. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh recently spoke with the congressman about the Federal OIl and Gas Leasing program and his take on energy production in the West.
The Government Accountability Office released a report in late last year, criticizing the way the Department of Interior has been handling its oil and gas leasing program both on and off-shore.
The report is a follow-up to earlier GAO investigations,which found that the US government has one of the lowest rates of return on oil and gas leases, and that DOI has not evaluated the oil and gas revenue system for more than 25 years.
DOI has taken steps to improve the program. But, it's still on a list of programs that are at high risk of fraud, abuse, waste, or mismanagement.
KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Frank Rusco, GAO's director of natural resources and environment, about the list and why DOI is on it.
At last week's Energy Advisory Board meeting, Garfield County again brought out its study of the Mamm Creek area that concludes methane in water wells probably is not related to gas drilling. However the study's authors were peppered with questions from residents unhappy with the study's limitations. KDNK's Marilyn Gleason has this report.
More than 400 people gathered at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs on Saturday to celebrate the Thompson Divide with speakers, music, food, and plenty of petition-signing. A coalition called United for Thompson Divide organized the event to draw attention to why they believe the area just south of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale should be left off the list of places to drill for natural gas. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh was there and has this report.
Related: Fracktivists Push for Statewide Moratorium
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported that two companies involved in the cleanup of the recent Parachute Creek hydrocarbon spill have been fined more than $18,000 for health and safety violations during the cleanup process. KDNK has since learned that one other company involved in the cleanup was also fined nearly $10,000 for similar violations. KDNK's Nelson Harvey reports.
Workers continue their remediation work at a Williams Midstream natural gas plant that has been leaking toxins into nearby water sources for at least three months. State authorities say cleanup efforts have been successful in reducing water contamination at the site. But as KDNK's Ed Williams reports, EPA documents show the facility has a history of air pollution violations.
Months after discovering a toxic pipeline leak at a natural gas plant on Parachute Creek, industry workers are continuing efforts to clear the creek water of chemicals. But as KDNK's Ed Williams reports, area scientists are raising questions about the dangers the cleanup methods pose to the health of on-site workers.
(Click on the headline for a response to this story from Williams)
On Monday, a group of local governments and conservation organizations filed appeals against the Bureau of Land Management's recent decision to allow oil and gas companies to hold on to expiring leases in the Thompson Divide. KDNK's Ed Williams has more.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet stopped in Carbondale late last week for a Thompson Divide Coalition event, to shake some hands and to have a burger. KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Bennet to get an update on a bill he recently introduced that would prevent future drilling in the Thompson Divide.
At a meeting with state environmental regulators Monday night in Parachute, well over 100 people gathered to hear the latest on the Parachute Creek hydrocarbon spill. The spill was first reported to regulators in early March, and at Monday's meeting officials updated the crowd on how much contamination has been found in groundwater and in the creek. They also gave their first indication of just how long it could take to finish cleaning up the spill. KDNK's Nelson Harvey reports.
(More coverage of the Parachute Creek spill is available in our news archives.)