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oil & gas

Photo of Running Utes alum Arnie Ferrin and Wat Misaka.
Mae Miya / Utah Sports Hall of Fame

Updated 11:41 a.m. MDT, 11/22/19

Editor’s note: During impeachment inquiry hearings, KUER is offering news roundups from around the state and audio of those stories as a resource for our audience.

Stock photo of an oil pump jack in eastern Utah.
iStock

Utah democratic lawmakers are “dismayed” by the advancement of a bill giving tax breaks to the oil and gas industry. 

Photo of the Gadsby plant
Brian Albers / KUER

About 3,500 people live in the small, rural town of Delta, Utah. Some 600 miles away, the population of Los Angeles County’s sprawling metropolis is about 10 million. The two cities don’t have much in common, but there is one thing that ties them together: power. 

Photo of a rock showing pictographs.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Conservation and tribal groups are criticizing the Bureau of Land Management for its latest oil and gas lease sale of more than 70,000 acres of public land in Utah. 

The sale, which occurred this week, brought in around $1.63 million, according to the BLM, more than half of which came from 32,027 acres in San Juan County.

The sale is the third since March 2018 to include land between Bears Ears and Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, much of which conservation groups say should not be leased. 

Photo of beetle.
iStock.com / mb-fotos

The U.S. Interior Department may have complied with requests from an oil industry trade association to remove some environmental species act protections for a beetle, according to agency records. 

Photo of abandonned oil pump.
iStock.com / andrepra

A controversial oil and gas advisory committee has been disbanded by the Trump administration, according to an interior department spokesperson.

Oil and gas producing states around the country are closely watching Colorado this election season. Voters are deciding on a ballot measure dramatically increasing the so-called “set-back” distance drilling rigs need to be from homes.


The nation’s first commercial oil-shale mine could be built here in our region. The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that allows a mine in Utah’s Uinta Valley to move forward.

The Trump administration just relaxed Obama-era industry regulations for methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal lands. But reactions to the change in the Mountain West are mixed.  

A study in the journal Science says a lot more methane is leaking from oil & gas sites than previously thought -- about 60 percent more than the current estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s an international agreement but Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal with Iran could be felt in our region for good and for bad.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

The Bureau of Land Management held an online auction Tuesday for oil and gas leases in southeastern Utah. Conservation groups and Native Americans protested drilling in places that are also rich with cultural meaning.

istock

The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

Ken Lund/Flickr Creative Commons

A federal lands agency wants to sell more than three dozen oil and gas leases, and environmental groups are protesting because some potential drilling sites lie just outside protected areas.

Photo of oil pump.
iStock.com / DennyThurstonPhotography

Imagine this: The oil and gas industry in Utah supports overhauling air-quality permits for their wells – and so do environmental groups. It’s what’s actually happening right now at the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) with its proposed regulations for more than 12,000 oil and gas wells in the state.

Zinke Targets Oil And Gas Backlog

Jul 7, 2017

Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to make it easier and quicker for fossil fuel companies to drill on federal land. 

Ray Bloxham / Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Central Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon isn’t just beautiful. It’s important to Native Americans, conservationists and historians.

Corey Dinter

Terry Tempest and Brooke Williams bid on oil and gas leases last winter in a U.S. Bureau of Land Management auction. The agency rejected their bids last month on grounds the couple had no plans to actually drill for oil and gas.

While coal interests have retained their strong preference for Republican presidential candidates, oil and gas interests have shifted their spending to Clinton in the general election.

Fossil fuel companies have a history of backing Republican candidates. But this year’s unusual presidential campaign appears to be having a strange ripple effect on political giving -- at least from the oil and gas industry.

 

Whittney Evans

Protesters gathered in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday morning to demonstrate solidarity with activists in North Dakota who are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several of the protestors were arrested for trespassing.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo. argues that putting states in charge of managing resources will remove excess red tape and make it easier for companies to drill responsibly on federal lands.
zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee says oil and gas companies would be doing a lot more to clean up pollution if they knew they could avoid sanctions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

Environmentalists have launched a new campaign against climate change. They’re trying to slow oil and gas development on public lands just as the energy industry is trying to get the federal government to step it up.

Courtesy: / Governor's Office of Energy Development

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has already declared that energy is a top priority in his administration. Now he’s inviting the head of his energy development office to join his inner circle. Citing her public- and private-sector experience, he announced Laura Nelson’s promotion on Tuesday at the 5th annual Energy Development Summit.

Utah's Energy Landscape, Michael Vanden Berg / Utah Geological Survey

The fifth annual Governor’s Energy Development Summit gets underway on Tuesday.

This year’s two-day program begins with a panel of women who are helping to lead the energy industry through change.

nationalatlas.gov

In a last minute move, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah postponed its oil and gas lease auction scheduled for Tuesday morning. Environmentalists who had been planning a protest held a victory party instead.

Mike Mozart / Flickr Creative Commons

Gas prices are tumbling, thanks to a glut of petroleum on the world market. That may be great for consumers, but it’s tough for Utah’s petroleum industry and the state budget.

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

    

Regulators are relying on a growing body of scientific information to craft better pollution controls for the energy industry. They’re drawing on some of the results that scientists have gathered on the Uinta Basin’s ozone pollution problem.

Erik Crosman / University of Utah

Utah’s winter pollution season officially gets underway this weekend, and thanks to $1 million from the Legislature, new research is focusing on what causes the state’s air-quality problems and how to solve them.

A dozen studies will look hard at what makes sooty winter pollution so nasty in Utah and why ground level ozone gets so high. They also will zero in on air chemistry and the weather’s role.

Flickr Creative Commons

    

The energy boom in eastern Utah has brought with it a big pollution problem.

The Utah Division of Air Quality has been studying it, and its now implementing new regulations to cut emissions.

The agency didn’t even know there was a pollution problem in the Uinta Basin until a few years ago. After millions of dollars of studies, the agency is now putting new rules in place to rein in emissions produced by oil and gas development.

Reduced BLM Auction Brings In $3.3 Million

Nov 19, 2013
Bureau of Land Management

  The Bureau of Land Management sold most of the parcels it offered in today’s auction of oil and gas drilling leases in eastern Utah, but there was a lot of land taken off the table before it began.

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