In a talk titled “Shale Boom or Shale Bubble?” at the Broomfield Community Center last Thursday, Deborah Rogers directly challenged the myth of a decades long economic boom from fracking. Rogers is a financial consultant and the founder of the Energy Policy Forum, an organization that studies the policy and financial issues surrounding shale gas and renewable energy.
The talk, sponsored by Our Broomfield and Earthworks, was attended by a full house of about 100 people. Rogers stated that the fracking “boom” has been bolstered by Wall Street money, which began investing heavily in oil and gas shale following the collapse of mortgage-backed securities in 2008. She said Wall Street is playing the same game with shale as with the housing market – manipulating the ratings agencies to boost the commodity. Once a shale field is “proven,” Wall Street sells it at 5 to 10 times the original price. These “proven” fields are initially tapped in their “sweet spot”, and the first wells produce at high capacity that is assumed to permeate the entire field. The problem is that marginal areas further afield may produce at only 30% capacity of the initial wells. This problem is compounded by declines in production of 30-50% each year for gas shale, and even greater declines for oil shale. Rogers said the Niobrara fields, which underlie most of eastern Colorado, decline by 65% the first year. Wells in the Bakkan field, which span much of western North Dakota, are completely spent after 6 years.
In order the give the illusion of a boom, the oil and gas industry must constant grow production to give the illusion of increasing capacity. In spite of this, Rogers predicts that oil and gas production from fracking will peak around 2017 and the major ‘plays’ will decline to ‘stripper well’ status by 2024.
Please contact the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) commissioners to let them know that their constituents want to see air pollution curbed around oil and gas drilling. The more people they hear from the better, so if you have any friends interested in getting involved, please send forward this onto them.
The person you’ll be contacting is Michael Silverstein who is the Administrator and Technical Secretary. His number is 303-692-3478. We are asking folks to let the commissioners know that they support strong regulations to curb air pollution from oil and gas drilling and to mention 1 or 2 of the following points :
- Nine Colorado counties now exceed EPA limits for ozone pollution.
- Oil and gas operations are the leading source of VOCs in the state, the chemicals that form ground-level ozone.
- The Governor has called for “zero tolerance” on methane emissions that cause climate change and we support that effort.
- This AQCC rulemaking is a huge opportunity to improve our public health by curbing these VOC and methane emissions from oil and gas and we want to see a strong rule.
Robert R. Winkler, CDRP
International Institute of Risk Management
Concerned Citizen of Colorado
State Representative Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins)
Joann Ginal’s bill, HB 13—1275, which would have required the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to commission a study to identify health impacts of oil and gas activity, died in committee, on a 5-6 vote. All 5 Republicans plus Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley) voted against it. The bill was heavily lobbied against by Governor Hickenlooper’s appointee to the CDPHE, Chris Urbina, who stayed for the whole 3.5-hour committee meeting and testified along with his staff. In addition, Dr. Urbina had been lobbying Rep. Young prior to the hearing.
State Representative Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins)
Please Support HB 13—1275 A Report on the Health Impacts of Oil and Gas Operations Near the Front Range. This bill would require Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to commission a study of epidemiological data to identify possible health impacts related to oil and gas activity.
This bill will be heard on Thursday, ~10:00 am, April 11, 2011 at the State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO.
Please come to the State Capitol
Thursday, March 28, at 10:30 AM.
We need you to help pass legislation
that will make a difference!
We need to show strong support for House Bill 1269. You may speak if you wish, but you don’t have to. We can speak just as loudly and strongly by filling the hearing room with Coloradans, and especially people from Longmont, who are dissatisfied with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s existing mandate and want change. Continue reading
On Tuesday, March 26th at noon, people across Colorado are coming together for the “Don’t Frack Colorado for Tar Sands Oil” action in front of the Governor’s Mansion! RSVP here to join us.
Why? Gov. Hickenlooper is traveling to Canada March 26-29, leading a delegation of 20 including representatives from the Canadian Consulate Office, on an “energy-focused mission”, with a stop by the tar sands. (Read more here.)
Unfortunately, that likely means that the Governor plans to promote the use of fracked gases from Colorado to develop tar sands oil. Huge amounts of natural gas and fresh water are used to superheat the tar sands in order to get the oil out. And natural gas condensate is used to viscosify the sludgy tar sands oil so that it will flow in pipelines. As we all know, this is an extremely dirty and carbon-intensive form of energy.
Is this the kind of energy development you hoped our Governor would pursue? Didn’t think so. Please join us next Tuesday to send Gov. Hickenlooper off with a loud and clear message! Colorado wants a clean energy future! Don’t Frack Colorado for Tar Sands Oil!!
Many of you joined us for the #ForwardOnClimate event last month asking President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline and take serious action to solve the climate crisis.
Like last month, let’s wear black to form a human oil pipeline. (Wear your black No KXL or #ForwardOnClimate shirt, if you got one!) There may even be another human oil spill!
Don’t Frack Colorado for Tar Sands Oil Action
When: Tuesday, March 26th, 12noon
Where: In front of the Governor’s Mansion, 400 East 8th Avenue, Denver
RSVP Here and spread the word with our Facebook event page.
CRES and Golden Earth Days are pleased to present one of the nation’s leading activists in promoting energy sustainability. Randy Udall is co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA, and former director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency.
Americans are using 2 million barrels less each day than we were in 2007. The irony is that even as we’ve become less hooked on crude, we’ve become more addicted to drilling. Ten percent of the Lower 48 has been leased by oil companies. That’s more acreage than we plant in corn and wheat. In short, shale plays have given us a staggering amount of new energy. Udall asserts that “Simultaneously, they’ve hijacked our energy future, chained us to a drilling rig, and thrown away the key.”
Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m.
Presentation Followed by a Reception
Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W. 32nd Ave., Golden, CO
Please register here, just so we know how much food to prepare.
LONGMONT, CO – Today, a coalition of community, public health, consumer and environmental organizations, including OurLongmont, Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, and Earthworks filed a motion in the Weld County District Court to intervene in the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s lawsuit that seeks to invalidate Longmont’s ban of the oil and gas practice known as “fracking”. This ban was instituted by the citizens of Longmont in an amendment to the City Charter, Article XVI , the Longmont Public Health, Safety and Wellness Act.
Protect Our Colorado coalition and What the Frack?! Arapahoe deliver over 14,000 signatures to Governor’s office and state legislature calling for a moratorium on fracking
Denver, Colo.— Today Protect Our Colorado, a coalition of more than 30 business, solar, farming, faith, consumer, environmental, grassroots and social justice organizations across the state, and What the Frack?! Arapahoe will deliver more than 14,000 petitions to the Governor’s office and leaders in the state legislature from Coloradans opposed to the dangerous drilling technique. The organizations are calling upon the Governor and state legislature to implement an immediate moratorium on fracking. Continue reading