On Tuesday, a two-day hearing to determine regulatory revisions for Colorado’s oil and gas industry unraveled following an inability to reach an agreement. As a result, regulators have voted to delay their rule-making until February 13 to gather more information on the issue.
These twelve months are the ones we deserve, everyone. After thousands of lost jobs, dozens of baseless protests, and interminable money lost to our economy as a whole, the United States oil and gas industry is ready to rebuild.
Here’s how it’s going to happen.
Oil and gas industry leaders are voluntarily committing to reducing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in accordance with a new initiative from the American Petroleum Institute called the Environmental Partnership. The initiative calls for businesses to make efforts to cut leaks from wells, pipelines, and other sources of onshore production.
Over the last several days, a handful of news outlets have reported scuffles that resulted on a small stretch of Olympia railroad tracks. Early Wednesday, Olympia’s finest cleared a week-old encampment of protestors off their makeshift home.
Headlines call attention to the friction. They draw attention to the protestors’ purpose. They don’t focus on a major issue of the Olympia protestor’s sit-in: these guys were “protesting” in the wrong place.
Whether you realize it or not, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been benefitting your everyday life for the past seventy years. As fracking has grown in prominence, it has drawn controversy every step of the way.
If you listen to the handful of people who plant themselves outside otherwise productive fracking sites throughout the United States, you might believe that hydraulic fracturing is the worst thing to happen to planet Earth since the last Ice Age. For all their dogged protesting and legal battling, anti-fracking protestors have been unable to provide substantial numbers on quite the same scale as the oil and gas industry.
Now that the price of oil is once again climbing, there are some among the oil and gas industry who worry that the industry won’t be able to find enough qualified employees to fill the gaps in the field. After several thousand job losses between 2015 and 2016, the prospective pool of oil and gas employees is smaller than ever. However, there is room for hope, because two significant factors are working in favor of oil and gas companies throughout the world.
In November, the voters of Broomfield, Colorado will be confronted with another initiative designed to stymie production of future oil and gas projects in the area. Ballot Question 301 is a controversial amendment to Broomfield’s home rule charter that would place unprecedented control of oil and gas development in the hands of the Broomfield city council.
Question 301 asserts that oil and gas development in Broomfield should “only occur in a manner that does not adversely impact the health, safety and welfare of Broomfield’s residents in their workplaces, their homes, their schools, and public parks.” Though it sounds innocuous enough, Question 301 has troubling implications for the people and the economy of Broomfield.
Following a vote for independence on September 25, the region of Iraqi Kurdistan has erupted in a fresh wave of violence. In addition to the inevitable destruction and loss of life that will result, violence in and around the city of Kirkuk could have a huge impact on the world’s economy, most notably in the oil and gas industry.
The conflict may be a world away, but the discord in the Kurdish region of Iraq is going to show up at an oil pump near you.
On Monday, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced that the EPA would set about repealing the Clean Power Plan. The end of the Obama-era policy has been a long time coming, but its final death rattle has triggered a wave of anti-energy protests from both private organizations and state governments.
While these protests boil up, however, individual states have taken it upon themselves to pioneer their own environmental future. You know, rather than moan and groan in idle.
Colorado is the front line for fracking in the United States. In a country that seems evenly divided on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, Colorado is a good microcosm of the argument. The state is rich in shale and oil reserves, which means fracking is a particularly relevant topic. More importantly, however, Colorado is home to an incredibly diverse array of people who represent an equally diverse amount of perspectives.
And as any Colorado resident can tell you, the people who live there are also not shy about voicing those opinions. In the wake of a federal court ruling that has revoked a series of Obama-era regulations that banned fracking on federal lands, two Colorado counties are working quickly to make sure that their voices are heard.