Water and Gas Don’t Mix!

The Regulations Fall Short! Americans get over half of their clean drinking water from underground sources. In 2005, the oil and gas industry was granted an exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act, making the oil and gas the only industry allowed to inject toxic fluids directly into good quality groundwater without oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the state level, most oil and gas regulatory agencies do not require companies to report the volumes or names of the chemicals being injected during hydraulic fracturing. Thus, neither the government nor the public can evaluate the risks posed by injecting these fluids underground. (www.earthworksaction.org/pubs/Fracking.pdf)   San Luis Valley Water: Read More …

CBM: Coal-Bed Methane Gas?

In their July, 2007 press release, Lexam states that their 3-D seismic survey confirms the presence of Cretaceous-age source and reservoir rocks for hydrocarbons (natural gas) over the entire 16,000 acre area they surveyed. They report that total prospect area is 2,180 acres in size and the two priority targets are estimated to be located 14,000 feet below the surface. They further state that the Cretaceous-aged Dakota Sandstone is the primary target (Figure 2) Lexam consulting geologist, Thomas A. Watkins, also identified Cretaceous-aged Mancos Shale and Jurassic Morrison Formation. Both Lexam’s recent press release and the earlier geological report suggest that Lexam’s target is “conventional natural gas”. However, the nearby Read More …

Background on Lexam’s “drillplay” on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR)

The “BIG PICTURE:” Radical Increases in Gas Drilling Throughout the Rocky Mountains To understand what is happening here, we need to look at the larger context of Lexam’s “drillplay.” There is currently a “land rush” by oil and gas companies on federal lands in the Rocky Mountain region that has been going on ever since President George W. Bush signed Exective Order 13212 in 2001. The horrific scope of this “land grab” and the determined and heroic efforts of local citizens to protect their homes and landscapes is portrayed in the excellent video, “A Land Out of Time” (www.alandoutoftime.com). Although federal law mandates that federal lands should serve “multiple uses”, Read More …

Best Management Practices Recommendations to BNWR- 11/09/06

Best Management Practices Recommendations to Baca National Wildlife Refuge  By Water Watch Alliance (formerly San Luis Valley Citizen’s Alliance, 11/9/06) These Guidelines are for the drilling of two 14,000 feet test wells by Lexam Explorations, Inc. Should gas or other valuable minerals be discovered, these guidelines will be held in full force, but an additional set of guidelines will be developed to cover the extraction of discovered gas and all aspects of commercial natural gas production or production of other valuable minerals.“Responsible Development is a proven way of conducting natural gas development operations, which eliminates or minimizes adverse impacts from natural gas development on public health and the environment, landowners, Read More …

My Articles and Reports Related to Proposed Gas Drilling

Archives-2: My Articles and Reports Related to Proposed Gas Drilling Our Visit to Silt with Peggy Utesch of the Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance (10/28/06). By Eric Karlstrom Attending were Eric Karlstrom David Bright, MacKenzie Trujillo, and Maya Madrigal of the San Luis Valley Citizen’s Alliance (SLVCA). We met Peggy for breakfast at 8:30 am at the Newcastle Diner and discussed general issues and asked questions that we had prepared for her. From that breakfast discussion we learned: 1) Answer to Vince and Mary’s questions: Did Peggy and Drilling Co. address water questions before they started drilling? Yes, they had a community development plan. 2) Was there a change in the Read More …

My Letters to Officials Regarding Lexam’s Proposed “Drillplay”

Archives-My letters to Officials Regarding Lexam’s Proposed “Drill-play” My Letter to Ron Garcia, Manager of BNWR re: NEPA and our FOIA request (letter unanswered) Ron Garcia, Manager 11/13/06 Baca National Wildlife Refuge Alamosa, Colorado Dear Mr. Garcia, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that federal agencies implement certain procedures and supply documentation to the public when significant environmental impacts could result from activities on federal lands such as Lexam’s proposed drilling of two 14,000’ test wells on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. Specifically, we are requesting all written documentation that is available, including an environmental analysis and the NEPA decision document. If these policies were not implemented and these Read More …

NEPA and the Draft Environmental Assessment

The present cabinet boasts more CEO’s than any in history. Most come from the energy, extractive, and manufacturing sectors that rely on giant subsidies and create the worst pollution. Almost all the top positions at the agencies that protect our environment and oversee our resources have been filled by former lobbyists for the biggest polluters in the very businesses that these ministries oversee. These men and women seem to have entered government with the express purpose of subverting the agencies they now command. – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pas Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy History of NEPA Read More …

Accidents in the Gas Fields

Clean water is a gift from God, a gift for the common good. Without clean water there cannot be physical, emotional, or spiritual health. So clean water is a spiritual and ethical concern. The level of our concern reflects the level of our spiritual awareness and commitment. – Catholic nun protesting pollution of the Rio Grande River by Los Alamos National Labs. We know that every day there are accidents in the field. Just look at the (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation) Commissions’ reports. – Peggy Utesch, Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance, re: EnCana’s gas drilling near Silt, Colorado   On February 12, 2008, at the public meeting held by the Read More …