The Five Worst States for Renewable Energy Development
Suspension of Bush-Era Oil and Gas Leases in Utah Upheld by Appeals Court
A federal appeals court has upheld U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to suspend 77 oil and gas parcels sold in Utah in the final year of the Bush administration.
The Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said bidders missed a 90-day deadline to file a lawsuit against the federal government.
Several environmental groups went to court to freeze many of the drilling leases sold at the auction. Salazar followed up by suspending 77 parcels and denying them to winning bidders.
For Farms in the West, Oil Wells Are Thirsty Rivals
A new race for water is rippling through the drought-scorched heartland, pitting farmers against oiland gas interests, driven by new drilling techniques that use powerful streams of water, sand and chemicals to crack the ground and release stores of oil and gas.
A single such well can require five million gallons of water, and energy companies are flocking to water auctions, farm ponds, irrigation ditches and municipal fire hydrants to get what they need.
That thirst is helping to drive an explosion of oil production here, but it is also complicating the long and emotional struggle over who drinks and who does not in the arid and fast-growing West …
“It’s not a level playing field,” said Peter V. Anderson, who grows corn and alfalfa on the parched plains of eastern Colorado. “I don’t think in reality that the farmer can compete with the oil and gas companies for that water. Their return is a hell of a lot better than ours.”
But industry officials say that critics are exaggerating the effect on water supplies. MORE …
Southeastern Wyoming County Eager to Get Coal-to-Gas Plant
CHEYENNE, Wyo — Carbon County officials say they’re optimistic that a Texas company will follow through on plans to construct a plant to turn coal into gasoline by 2016.
“For the most part, most people are very positive about it, as we need jobs and tax money,” Carbon County Commission Chairman Terry Weickum said Wednesday.
The Carbon County Commission early this year passed resolutions in support of issuing bonds to help finance the plant, slated to be built at Medicine Bow, a town about 100 miles west of Cheyenne. MORE …
Rifle Trucking Firm Cuts Energy Use for Trucks, Buildings
Everybody’s electrical costs go up in winter, but few people’s bills jump as much as Ed Elder’s.
His firm, Elder Trucking, owns a fleet of diesel-powered trucks, and in order to start those vehicles on cold winter mornings, Elder must heat the engine blocks every night. Imagine 30 electrical cords extending to 30 large semi trucks and charging a heating element in each motor, an element much like the one in your kitchen stove.
“There are times in winter when those heaters are going every day and we’re probably over $2,000 [per month] in electricity,” Elder said, shaking his head.
Last year, Elder Trucking joined the Garfield Clean Energy Challenge and, with the help of electrical contractor Charlie Terrell and Holy Cross Energy, Elder recently installed a timing system on his engine block heaters that should cut his winter power bills in half.
“They’ll start at midnight and shut off at noon,” Elder said. “I’m hoping to get those bills down to three digits.”