News, December 5th

GARCO SENDING OIL SHALE PROTEST LETTER TO BLM

Glenwood Springs–The Garfield County Board of Commissioners officially decided to send a strongly worded letter to the Bureau of Land Management protesting the agency’s plans for oil shale research and development. With Mike Samson absent, Commissioners John Martin and Tom Jankovsky agreed to send the letter upon the advice of County Attorney Frank Huftless and Manager Drew Gorgey. County officials say the BLM plan for oil shale research and development in western Colorado, eastern Utah and southwest Wyoming is too limited and restrictive and will severely impact jobs and revenue. The county accuses the U.S. Department of the Interior of ignoring new, scientific data supporting oil shale’s viability and the technology for safe extraction. The letter of protest will be submitted by December 10th.

ASPEN HIGHLANDS OPENING DELAYED…NO SNOW

Aspen–If you were hoping to carve some turns at Aspen Highlands for opening day this Saturday, you’re out of luck. There’s not enough snow. Officials at the Aspen Skiing Company say Highlands needs about 8 inches of real snow to open. Ajax and Snowmass have been open since Thanksgiving and Buttermilk will crank up the lifts in 10 days but right now, no one is sure when Highlands will kick off the season. Aspen isn’t the only resort hoping and praying for snow. Monarch Mountain was supposed to open three weeks ago and in Summit County, A-Basin and Keystone can’t make snow because their main water source, the Snake River is too low.

ANTI-FRACKING RULES ON HOLD IN BOULDER COUNTY

BOULDER–To frack or not to frack. That argument is heating up in Boulder County where commissioners bowed to pressure from anti-fracking activists and delayed a decision on the drilling procedure. Opponents say it’s unsfafe and want it banned altogether. Supporters say fracking is safe and current state regulations are sufficient to protect the public. Boulder County Commissioners will vote on a possible fracking ban December 13th.

COLORADO QUAKES CAUSED BY DRILLING PROCEDURE?

Denver–When the earth moves in Colorado, the oil and gas industry may be at fault according to a new report from a team of geophysicists. Researchers say they’ve been able to link an increase in earthquake activity in Colorado and northern New Mexico with disposal wells where drilling wastewater has been injected. Officials with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission aren’t sold on the findings yet, saying more studies are needed. The commission however is beginning to consider seismic risks during the permit review process.

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