Oil and Gas

Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK


The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act would protect 400,000 acres of public lands across the state, including the Thompson Divide near Carbondale. It was introduced in Congress in 2019 but has yet to become law. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with locals  who have worked on these issues for over a decade.

Daniel Rayzel

Photographers, migrating animals, and cultural histories all share a reliance upon - and admiration for - one thing: clear, dark, starry skies. But the preservation of dark skies is threatened by development, including sprawl and oil and gas infrastructure. As KSJD’s Daniel Rayzel reports, southeast Utah is one place where advocates say light pollution mitigation is often ignored.

What Else is Shut In When Wells Aren't Producing?

Jan 6, 2021
Ray Bloxham/Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

With changing commodity prices and speculation, oil and gas wells on public lands aren’t always pumping. KZMU’s Justin Higginbottom investigates the lost zones in Utah, where wells are holding land from wilderness management, if not polluting. This story is part of a collaboration of Rocky Mountain Community Radio Network stations, reporting on fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuel Uncertainty Impacts Local Government Services

Dec 27, 2020
Matt Hoisch, KOTO

Across Colorado, oil and gas companies pay for a lot more than just jobs and equipment. They pay taxes that fund countless public services. So, what does it mean for a local government if oil and gas revenues become more uncertain? From Telluride, KOTO's Matt Hoisch takes a look. This story is part of a Rocky Mountain Radio Network collaborative, reporting on the fossil fuel industry.

Less Oil and Gas Revenue Means Fewer Funds for Utah Communities

Dec 16, 2020
Bill Rau

Revenue from oil and gas activities in Utah has not recovered. That means government grants and loans that rely on energy royalties have less to give … just when communities need it most. As part of a new Rocky Mountain Community Radio collaboration, reporting on the impacts of fossil fuels, KZMU's Justin Higginbottom looks at what Utah is funding and what it isn’t.

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Residents of Pavillion, WY found themselves participants of a fracking experiment. As the first in a series on the impacts of fossil fuels, coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition, KHOL’s Robyn Vincent spoke with a scientist whose research in Pavillion connects the dots between fracking and its impacts.

New State Oil and Gas Rules a Win for Citizens Group

Nov 25, 2020

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, or COGCC, voted unanimously Monday in favor of new oil and gas regulations across the state, fulfilling the mission of Senate Bill 181. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Emily Hornback, director of the Western Colorado Alliance, a citizens group that has been involved with the rulemakings, about what this means.

Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK

Garfield County Commissioners Monday unanimously approved another permit extension for Ursa Resources’ A Pad, pipeline, and injection well in Battlement Mesa. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh reports that the decision was not without some pushback.

Colorado regulators are now requiring oil and gas operators to monitor fracking emissions earlier and more often, and provide that data to local governments. Both industry officials and regulators supported the move. But concerns persist, like the fact that the rules allow oil and gas operators to choose how to monitor their own emissions. Regardless, environmental groups see Colorado as a leader in emission monitoring in the region and hope other states follow suit.

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Glenwood Springs Lawyer Colin Wilhelm is running for House District 57 as a Democrat this election. He spoke to KDNK's Lucas Turner about economic recovery after COVID-19, energy, water issues and more.

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Representative Perry Will is running as the Republican incumbent for Colorado House District 57 this election. He spoke to KDNK's Lucas Turner about healthcare, economic development, energy, water issues and more. 

Ursa Piceance Files Chapter 11

Sep 3, 2020
Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK

Energy Company Ursa Piceance filed for bankruptcy this week. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has more.

Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK

A Denver District Court Judge last week granted seven conservation groups across Colorado intervenor status in two lawsuits - one filed by Garfield County -  that challenge new statewide air quality protections. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has more.

Sioux Nation Celebrates, Jordan Cove Goes to Court

Jul 9, 2020
Amy Hadden Marsh photo

This week, three major oil and natural gas pipelines shut down in the U.S. and one proposed project on the West Coast went to court. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has this report.

SB-181 Rulemaking Process Paused Due to COVID-19

Apr 2, 2020
AH Marsh photo

The Coronavirus is taking a toll on the SB-181 rulemaking process. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh reports.


Shale drilling in the US has produced record volumes of oil and natural gas in the last decade, but the industry and struggled to achieve profitability, racking up billions of dollars in debt. Now in midst of an international price war and global pandemic, the financial future of shale looks uncertain. To find out more, KDNK’s Lucas Turner spoke to attorney and freelance reporter Sharon Kelly about her recent article in Desmog Blog, titled Stock Market Turmoil Undermines Claimed Energy Dominance Benefits of US Shale Drilling

Weekly News Reel: February 3 - 7

Feb 9, 2020
Lucas Turner/KDNK

The Weekly News Reel takes a look back at the week's top local and regional news stories aired on KDNK between Monday, February 3 and Friday, February 7.

Elected officials in Moab City and Grand County are now united in opposition to proposed oil and gas leasing in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Both councils passed resolutions asking the Utah Bureau of Land Management to remove two nominated parcels from a June oil and gas lease sale. KZMU's Molly Marcello has more.


  In a letter sent to Colorado Oil and Gas Commission director Jeff Robins Thursday, activist group Colorado Rising for Communities and sister group Colorado Rising asked for clarification on the agency’s recent statement to the press. In the statement, the COGCC said it would not enforce penalties against oil and gas operators who failed to file over 50,000 required monthly well reports from 2016 through 2018.

CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
James Ennis

  A new study by media and analysis firm Corporate Knights reveals that Colorado's Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) lost over 1.7 billion in retirement savings since 2009 by continuing to invest in fossil fuels. Climate activists hope the new data could convince PERA's Board of Trustees to take divestment action.

John Ciccarelli / BLM

A review of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s most recent oil and gas leasing data shows that since 2017, more than 60 percent of oil and gas leases were offered in water-stressed areas. KDNK’s Lucas Turner has more.

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.

Amy Hadden Marsh/KDNK

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently released draft rules on oil and gas flowlines, mandated by SB-181. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has this report on changes the Garfield County Commissioners would like included in the final rules. 

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

Theo Colborn is credited with identifying damage to human reproductive health caused by small doses of toxic chemicals called endocrine disruptors. Theo also explains why lack of public health protection of air and water is a concern to residents of the Colorado Drainage. Will Evans interviewed Theo in a three-part series in 2011. For parts 2 and 3 of their conversation, click here.

Pew Charitable Trusts


On June 29th, the Bureau of Land Management released its final draft resource management plan for the Uncompahgre Field Office, encompassing nearly 900,000 acres of public lands across six Colorado counties. The Colorado Department of Natural Resources has since submitted a formal letter of protest, claiming that the draft plan does not adequately balance wildlife protection with energy extraction. According to Ken Rait, Project Director for Pew Charitable Trusts, this plan is one of six released in the past five months that demonstrate a disturbing trend in public lands administration. 

Bureau of Land Management


On June 28, the Bureau of Land Management released their final draft Resource Management Plan for the Uncompahgre Field Office. The document represents years of work and would guide land-use planning decisions on public lands in southwest Colorado for decades to come. KDNK's Raleigh Burleigh has more on why environmental groups and local governments are raising concerns. This report includes comments from Jayson Barangan, the lead public affairs specialist for the BLM Colorado State Office, and Pete Kolbenschalg, founder of Colorado Farm & Food Alliance.

Raleigh Burleigh


Paonia activist Pete Kolbenschlag was awarded attorney fees by the Colorado Court of Appeals after being sued by oil and gas company SG Interests for his comment on a Post Independent article. KDNK's Raleigh Burleigh spoke with Pete about his victory and anti-SLAPP legislation that went into effect on July 1st.

After years of tension over expanded oil and gas drilling, including a deadly explosion that galvanized critics, Colorado is moving to tighten regulations on the booming industry. In a sweeping overhaul the governor is expected to sign, regulators will now have to consider public health, safety and the environment in decisions about permitting and local land use.

The state must still hammer out the details of how to implement the new law over the next year. But the impending changes are already fueling hope for some, and fear for others.

Oil and Gas Bill Advances

Mar 29, 2019

The Colorado House is giving its stamp of approval to a bill that allows local governments more control over oil and gas drilling operations. KDNK’s Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz has more:

After days of fierce partisanship at the state Capitol, Democrats in the Colorado Senate advanced a bill Wednesday that will give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling operations.

But as the bill heads over to the House for more debate, there are signs it will undergo some more changes in the coming days.