oil and gasoline

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A new initiative would bar oil and gas extraction on more than 80 percent of non-federal land in Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, over four out of five acres of non-federal land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters approve a proposed ballot measure this fall.

If you like going to the park to feed the ducks, you can thank the Migratory Bird Act of 1918.

“Ducks were nearly eliminated at one point," says Steve Holmer, vice president of policy for the American Bird Conservancy. "But through the law and through the effort of conservation, there has been a complete turnaround."

Memorial Day Gas Prices Highest Since 2014

May 25, 2018
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People traveling over the holiday weekend across the High Plains can expect to pay the highest gas prices since 2014.

According to AAA, average gas prices jumped 12 cents in the past two weeks. Compared to an average of the past three Memorial Day weekends, gas prices are almost 50 cents higher.

The average price per gallon as of Friday was $2.74 in Kansas, $2.88 in Nebraska, $2.71 in Oklahoma, $2.90 in Colorado and $2.76 in Texas.

From Texas Standard.

Ford announced recently that it will stop making most of its sedans, because the money is in trucks and SUVs. But now, gas prices are climbing, after four or five years without a significant increase. Like everyone who drives, and even those who travel by other means, Texans feel the impact of higher gas prices right in the wallet. But here, there’s a bit of a silver lining, because so much of the economy, and even the government’s coffers, rely on oil revenue. But with the Texas economy more diverse than ever, what does $3-a-gallon gas mean, on balance?

Oil Production Ramping Up In Colorado

Feb 20, 2018
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Record levels of oil production in Colorado are being driven by a steady rise in oil prices.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, oil prices rose from a low of $43 a barrel in June to just over $60 a barrel for much of January and February and the uptick in prices has prompted an uptick in oil production.

Zack Pistora of the Kansas Sierra Club was worried about the number of earthquakes in the state and wanted to do something about it.

“Those earthquakes can cause damage to people’s homes, businesses, public buildings,” he said. “Right now there’s no recourse for those Kansans who get affected.”

"Orphan" Oil And Gas Wells Costly To Colorado

Feb 14, 2018
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Improperly abandoned “orphan” wells are costing the state of Colorado about $75,000 each and as The Denver Post reports, there are about 300 inactive wells in the state that were supposed to be plugged with cement to prevent contamination of soil and water.  

This has concerned state officials, who revealed on Monday that they are having trouble taxing the oil and gas industry at the levels needed to deal with those and other environmental impacts.

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Even though oil and gas drillers have suffered through about three years of low oil prices, some of Colorado’s largest energy companies still seem optimistic.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Anadarko Petroleum pumped 33 million barrels of oil in the state last year, making them the state’s largest driller. 

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While Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper isn’t taking a stance on policies regarding how close new homes can be built to existing oil and gas wells, he is asking oil and gas operators to provide the money needed to plug around 700 to 800 “orphan wells” in the state.

Hundreds of independent oil and gas explorers and producers are in Wichita this week for their annual convention.

This year marks the 80th annual meeting of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association. The group, which formed in 1937, says independent producers are responsible for 93 percent of oil and 63 percent of natural gas produced in Kansas.

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The oil and gas industry in Colorado over the past four years has put millions of dollars into campaigns for politicians and for public relations.

As The Denver Post reports, the oil and gas industry has poured more than $80 million into Colorado to shape public opinion and influence campaigns and ballot initiatives, creating a political force that has had broad implications throughout the state.

Oil prices dropped five percent last week after OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut oil supplies at a level less than investors were expecting.

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Despite pushback from several people who testified in favor of a bill that would prevent oil and gas producers from drilling wells within 1,000 feet of school property lines and extend setbacks for oil and gas activity was struck down last week by the Colorado Senate.

As the Denver Post reports, Senators on Wednesday voted 5-6 against House Bill 1256.

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As Colorado’s oil and gas industry begins to recover from one of the hardest downturns in recent memory, some communities have launched fights against proposed projects that they say are larger in scale.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, residents of Garfield County and the cities of Greeley and Broomfield have launched fights against proposed projects.

Pipeline in West Texas draws a protest of its own

Dec 13, 2016
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There’s another pipeline protest and this one is not in North Dakota. It’s in Texas.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists say oil and gas activity is probably responsible for the surge in earthquake activity in Oklahoma.  They call the phenomenon “induced seismicity.”  But, researchers are puzzled.  Oil and gas production is nothing new in the Sooner State, and why is there an increase in quakes in Oklahoma, or for that matter Texas, Colorado, and Kansas when it doesn’t seem to be happening in other major players like North Dakota?

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The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill making tax incentives for oil and gas production permanent.

Governor Mary Fallin is expected to sign the controversial legislation, despite threats of a constitutional challenge posed by an Oklahoma City attorney.

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Energy production tax breaks will cost Oklahoma $307 million in 2014, and $304 million in 2015.  This year state leaders expect $170 million budget shortfall.  In other words, the expected budget shortfall is about half what the state gives away in tax breaks to oil and gas companies reported Matt Trotter for Public Radio Tulsa.  

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It doesn’t make sense, does it?  Domestic oil and gas production is booming, and yet prices are still pretty high.  Dr. Tec Patzek, Chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, said there are many reasons in an article by State Impact Texas.   

Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling allows drillers to retrieve oil and gas from places that were previously inaccessible. There are comparisons likening current conditions to the days of wildcatters. In the midst of drought, oil is once again having significant economic impact in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, but it's not a risk-free. A Texas man's legal battle with an oil producer brings another issue to light... abandoned oil wells. Who will clean up the mess after the party is over?