CRAIG — Andy Bockelman of the Craig Daily Press reports that the BLM is seeking public comment on a proposal to lease an additional 400 acres for coal production adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine southeast of Hayden.
On Thursday, the agency released an environmental assessment of the proposal, as well as a geologic and engineering report and maximum economic recovery report on how the lease would affect Northwest Colorado.
The mine will operate as Sage Creek Mine, which could gradually replace Twentymile’s Foidel Creek Mine.
While the company will still mine private and state coal, the proposed 400 acres would be reserved specifically for federal coal. BLM mining engineer Jennifer Maiolo said she did not foresee any major environmental concerns with the land.
LOVELAND – Cadmium telluride photovoltaic manufacturer Abound Solar is nearly doubling its office space and increasing space at its Certification and Reliability Laboratory space at Centerra in east Loveland.
The company has also established an outdoor solar module testing site near its laboratory, which is adjacent to Interstate 25, and said it expects to add about 50 new jobs by the end of the year as a result of the Centerra expansion. There will be enough space to install up to 400 KW over the next several years, but Abound and the city of Loveland have not yet determined how the generated power will be used.
“Expanding within Centerra allows us to meet our company goals in product distribution growth and system compatibility and knowledge,” said Larry Knipp, Abound’s director of systems engineering. “Our expanded office space, lab space and outdoor test site in Centerra allow us to bring our photovoltaic modules to market more quickly and ensure high quality.”
Last December, the privately held company closed on a long-anticipated $400 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund the expansion of the company’s manufacturing capacity.
BERTHOUD — EnergyLogic, Inc. is among the first players in the home energy market to expand training and rating services to China.
The company provides home energy efficiency services, consulting, training, and software services. Since 2006, it has completed more than 10,000 home energy audits, trained more than 400 energy raters and auditors across the United States and developed two software tools.
The firm is now meeting a growing demand in China for training and rating services to encourage energy efficient construction. This month and next, EnergyLogic will conduct a first-of-its kind training for students in Shanghai on the LEED® for Homes Green Rater protocols and RESNET Home Energy Rater standards.
EnergyLogic has also been selected as the LEED® for Homes contractor for a nine-unit luxury home development in Beijing. LEED® for Homes, a program of the United States Green Building Council, is the premier green building program in the United States. Its international expansion is a major milestone.
ASPEN — The Aspen Times reports that an energy company’s plans in Thompson Divide have triggered a renewed call from Pitkin County commissioners for legislation to prevent oil and gas drilling in the area outside of Carbondale.
Commissioners agreed Tuesday to send a letter to several Colorado congressmen urging them to introduce legislation that would permanently withdraw the Thompson Divide area, west and southwest of Carbondale, from availability for future leasing.
The letter presses for quick action to prevent the approval of an application from SG Interests to group together federal lands it already leases in Thompson Divide into a specially designated unit that conservation groups say poses a real threat of drilling activity in the area.
Houston-based SG Interests filed an application with the Bureau of Land Management to “unitize” its 16 leases, plus two others — a move that opponents believe would allow it to drill one test well for the entire unit and hold onto the leases for the foreseeable future.
Eagle County’s landfill manager is considering disposing of natural gas drilling pit liners that neighboring Garfield County stopped accepting two years ago because the massive, high-density polyethylene sheets are potentially toxic and too tough to handle.
Eagle County landfill eyes gas-drilling pit liners banned by Garfield County.
Eagle, which is not a major oil and gas drilling county, has been accepting other E&P (exploration and production) waste since last year, including drill cuttings mixed with drilling mud, sediments from water pits and soil excavated from underneath the liners that may have been contaminated. All the drilling waste has been tested to ensure it meets state standards.
However, Garfield County – one of the most heavily drilled counties in the state – banned pit liners in July of 2009, citing tests showing the liners can be coated with sludge containing toxins such as benzene, a known human carcinogen. Companies have been taking liners to nearby Mesa County and facilities as far away as Utah.
“Some of the soil and stuff that’s come in I’ve actually handled some of that to see what kind of consistency it has,” Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling Director Ken Whitehead said when asked last month about the liner issue. “It’s a lot like a dried sludge. But the liner stuff, that’s a different story.
“I want to research that, especially if some of that stuff has permeated the liner and it has potential to come out. I don’t know. Just based on what you’ve said, it’s something I need to take a harder look at.”
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that Routt County commissioners are looking at beefing up the northwest Colorado county’s oil and gas permitting regulations.
Commissioners indicated this week they may require energy companies to post bonds to ensure that rural roads that weren’t designed to bear heavy truck traffic can be repaired without burdening local taxpayers. They also may require energy exploration companies to obtain annual road permits.
County officials are anticipating a wave of drilling applications in the wake of recent mineral leasing activity.
Already, officials with Quicksilver Resources have informed County Planning Director Chad Phillips’ office that the company intends to apply for a special-use permit to allow exploratory drilling west of Hayden. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company develops coal bed methane and shale gas.
Delta Petroleum is up for sale. The company’s board of directors has hired Macquarie Capital and Evercore Partners for advice on strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to a Delta statement.
Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian is Delta’s largest shareholder at 33 percent.
The company’s operations are primarily in the Piceance Basin of Mesa County. It has drilled more than 500 wells in the area, according to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission data. Delta sold other assets to Wapiti Oil & Gas for $173.2 million during the past year to fund Piceance drilling.