Utah

What’s at stake if Congress cuts methane regs

1/31/2017

In the 1880s, farmers on Colorado’s Front Range got fired up about— what else? Water. Their irrigation water came from Clear Creek, a stream that gets its start up on the Continental Divide, then tumbles through mining country before spilling onto the plains west of Denver. Along the way, mills that processed the ore from numerous mines dumped their tailings — sludge loaded with toxic metals and acid-forming sulfides — directly into the stream.

Public Health and Environmental Groups Move to Defend Standards to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas on Public Lands (News Release 12/2/16)

12/02/2016
Groups Seek to Join Lawsuit to Oppose Challenges to the Standards

Fifteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans took legal steps today to defend new standards that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Terry Tempest Williams & Brooke Williams appeal to Interior Board of Land Appeals over oil and gas lease purchase (News Release 11/17/16)

11/17/2016
Famed author and husband punished for common industry practice

Today, on behalf of Terry Tempest Williams and Brooke Williams, the Western Environmental Law Center administratively challenged the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) rejection of the Tempest Exploration Company's October 2016 bids on oil and gas leases in Utah. WELC filed the appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, which reviews appeals from bureau decisions relating to the use and disposition of public lands and their resources.

My View: Finally, a smoking gun in New Mexico’s methane ‘hot spot’

8/27/2016

In 2014, New Mexico made national headlines when scientists discovered an atmospheric anomaly above the Four Corners: a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane (natural gas) — the largest such plume in the nation. At the time, industry data showed that oil and gas development was responsible for 90 percent of the known methane emissions. Nonetheless, for the next two years, the oil and gas industry blamed every other imaginable methane source, refusing to take responsibility for the "hot spot" and its associated health and climate threats.

Environmentalists sue feds to block oil, gas lease sales

8/25/2016

A Santa Fe-based environmental group filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Thursday, seeking a moratorium on all oil and gas lease sales on public land until the completion of an analysis showing how drilling impacts climate change.

WildEarth Guardians and Washington, D.C.-based Physicians for Social Responsibility claim in the suit that nearly 400 drilling leases were sold across 380,000 acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming without any analysis of the environmental or public health effects.

NASA Says Methane "Hot Spot" in New Mexico Linked Directly to Gas Extraction and Coal Mining (News Release 8/15/16)

Study says 250 polluters are responsible for half of the emissions causing the "hot spot"

NASA released a new study today examining what caused a methane "hot spot" to form in New Mexico. This new study of methane emissions generated by the oil and gas industry in the state's San Juan Basin is a major step forward in understanding the causes of New Mexico’s methane “hot spot.” It follows up on a 2014 satellite-based study that initially found the “hot spot,” and sought to identify its specific causes.
 

Suit Seeks Public Review of Animal Pelt Exports (News Release 5/4/16)

5/04/2016
Endangered Species Treaty Misused to Facilitate Mass Fur Export

Today, conservation groups filed suit to require open, public review of the impacts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service’s) export program that facilitates international trade in bobcat and gray wolf pelts, creates more incentive for trapping, and harms wolves, lynx, and other native wildlife.

As Coal Collapses, Groups Appeal 25-year Extension of Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine (News Release 4/20/16)

Suit Seeks Renewable Energy Transition Alternatives

Amid crumbling coal economics and surging renewable energy growth, Navajo, regional and national conservation groups filed suit today in Arizona’s federal district court challenging the U.S. government’s 25-year extension of coal operations at Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine. The approval, which allows coal mining and combustion through 2041, lacked any assessment of clean energy alternatives.

Judge Rules Feds Improperly Refused to Protect Wolverines (Press Release 4/4/16)

Orders Reconsideration of Safeguards for Species Imperiled by Climate Change

Today, the federal district court for Montana rejected a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to deny protections for wolverines in the contiguous U.S. The court ruled the Service improperly ignored science and violated the Endangered Species Act. A broad coalition of conservation organizations challenged the Service’s refusal to protect imperiled wolverines by listing them under the ESA.

Why is there a huge methane hotspot in the American Southwest? (PBS News Hour 6/3/15)

6/03/2015
A team of scientists scrambles to better understand a gigantic cloud of methane looming over the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest. This single cloud is believed to comprise nearly 10 percent of all methane emissions derived from natural gas in the United States. But its origins remain a mystery.

The Four Corners region of the southwest United States is a magnificent, otherworldly place, marked by red rock vistas, ancient cliff dwellings and sweeping blue sky. The names alone paint a picture of the landscape: The Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest. Monument Valley.

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