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Archived Extractive Industries News Articles:

Coalbed Methane Development Proposed on Northern Cheyenne Reservation 09/14/2005
The Association for the Advancement of Indigenous Resources says that coalbed methane development should be considered on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. The organization was recently formed to educate tribal members about coalbed methane, according to Terry Beartusk, the organization's director. There is money to be made with development that is responsible, reasonable and sensitive to the concerns of tribal members, Beartusk said. Coalbed methane development has expanded in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin and has been the focus of intense scrutiny in southeastern Montana in recent years. The group is surveying locals about their concerns with coalbed methane and plans on hosting feasts in each district on the reservation to provide information. In particular, the group plans to address concerns about air quality, water quality, royalties and possible damage to surface lands.
Original Story
Montana: Canadian Coal Mining Plans May Impact Endangered Bull Trout 09/14/2005
A Montana biologist said plans to develop coal mining in the headwaters of the Flathead River in British Columbia will pollute waters that are vital habitat for endangered bull trout. The Flathead River's headwaters contain deposits of gold, coal, oil and gas - resources British Columbia's government wants to develop. Clint Muhlfield, fisheries biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says that such development could have a disastrous impact on the survival of bull trout in the river.
Original Story
Montana: Environmental Group, Development Firm Strike Deal on Coalbed Methane 09/14/2005
An environmental group and energy development firm have reached an agreement to let coalbed methane production in a southeast Montana project continue, with restrictions on land disturbance and water disposal. The agreement between the Northern Plains Resource Council and Fidelity Energy and Production Co. affects an order U.S. Magistrate Richard Anderson issued earlier that halted the Tongue River-Badger Hills Project near Decker pending further environmental study. A decision by Anderson in a related study to allow federal leases in a portion of southern Montana on an interim basis is being appealed by both the environmental group and the Northern Cheyenne. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the matter Thursday in Seattle.
Original Story
Denver World Oil Conference November 9-10, 2005 08/29/2005
World oil production is expected to peak and then start to decline, perhaps in the next decade. This conference, entitled "Beyond Oil: Potential Responses to Peak Oil Impacts," will discuss the impacts of a peak in world oil production. Since oil provides nearly 40% of world energy, peak oil will be a significant turning point in human history, with far-reaching consequences. The conference will present ways in which citizens, corporations, cities, and states can take intelligent actions to prepare for more expensive petroleum and to mitigate the negative impacts of peak oil. Presentations will include alternative fuels status and issues, an update from car manufacturers, and an exploration of policy options, especially at the municipal level.
Original Story
Wyoming: New Oil Field Technology Limits Greenhouse Gases 07/25/2005
A project that uses carbon dioxide to coax more oil out of the ground will help clear the landscape of thousands of power poles, power lines and conventional pumping wells, and prevent tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced in large amounts by coal-fired power plants, but most of it is vented into the atmosphere and is a major source of greenhouse gases. But the new technology will allow the carbon dioxide to be injected into the oil reservoir to remove more oil and reduce greenhouse gases.
Original Story
Utah: New Technology Could Help Remove Oil Shale Deposits 06/01/2005
Massive oil shale deposits that have been called Saudi Arabia in the Rocky Mountains, has been considered the solution to the nation's energy woes. One concern in extracting the oil is the damage that it could do to threatened plant and animal species, and the process can take a heavy toll on the landscape. Shell Oil is experimenting with a new technology that could make the process more efficient and cost-effective and address the environmental problems. The process involves drilling a hole 2,000 feet deep and using a heating element to heat the rock at a high temperature for two years. A thick ring of ice would keep contaminants from polluting groundwater and the process would create less surface disturbance and waste issues.
Original Story
Navajo Nation Seeks to Prohibit Uranium Mining 05/02/2005
The Navajo Nation Council recently passed the Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005 outlawing uranium mining and processing on the 27,000 square mile reservation. The Act is expected to be signed by Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. The Navajo have benefited economically in the past from the uranium industry but a growing grassroots movement based on spiritual teachings and health issues appealed to traditionalists and helped pass the Act 69-13. There is concern that the tribe's decision will be overturned by federal legislation related to current Energy Policy.
Original Story
Mining Company Receives Award 04/25/2005
The Corporate Park Achievement Award has been given to Alcoa by the National Parks Conservation Association. This is the first time this award has been presented. Alcoa received this award because it has permanently set aside 10,000 acres of land for preservation. This land is adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.
Original Story
Utah: Large Groundwater Cleanup to Begin 02/22/2005
One of the largest groundwater cleanup projects in the United States will begin soon in Utah. The project will cleanup groundwater plumes from mining operatins in the Oquirrh Mountains. The process that will be used is reverse osmosis, which is a process where water is pushed through a membrane leaving salts behind.
Original Story
Colorado: Funds For Uravan Natural Resource Restoration Approved 02/17/2005
Colorado's Natural Resource Trustees authorized nearly $2.1 million for three projects designed to enhance natural resources in the Uravan area in western Colorado with funds from the Uravan Superfund cleanup. The projects include: converting a ball park into a camp ground, abandoned uranium mine and adjacent stream restorations and a cooperative weed management plan.
Original Story
Montana: Impact of New Oil and Gas Wells on Waterway Questioned 02/16/2005
The impact of how new oil and gas wells will affect western waterways is not known, but explorations of these wells have accelerated. A Bozeman firm issued a report that concludes that more studies on environmental impacts are needed. Other recommendations included conducting some environmental analysis prior to granting development leases. Information on environmental impacts of drilling is scarce. So far, there have been only 15 studies with only two of them being field studies.
Original Story
Colorado: Law Professor to Speak About Energy and the Environment 02/11/2005
University of Colorado Law Professor Lakshman Guruswamy will address energy and the environment in the 31st annual Austin W. Scott Jr. Lecture Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Fleming Law Building. He will discuss a new framework for understanding energy and environmental security and solutions to the energy and environmental crisis created by global reliance on fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.
Original Story
Colorado: Eagle River Hearing Delayed Until December 02/07/2005
The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission has delayed a rulemaking hearing concerning water quality standards revisions for two segments of the Eagle River until December 2005. The revisions to the Eagle River standards being proposed are a result of a study of the effects of a Superfund cleanup of nearby Eagle Mine.
Original Story
Colorado: Air Pollution Control System Could Eliminate "Flash" Emissions 02/01/2005
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that there are plans for a new air pollution control system that is designed to prevent so-called flash emissions. Flash emissions are a result from oil and gas explorations. The company that will design, and implement this system is EnCana Gathering Services. They will install the enclosed gathering system at one of their gas development areas. The new system could eliminate thousands of tons of volatile emissions.
Original Story
Colorado: Mines Reopen As Uranium Prices Increase 01/18/2005
As the price for natural gas has increased, uranium mines in Colorado have reopened. So far, three mines have reopened and more are being considered. Experts are predicting that as uranium prices gradually increase, it will be profitable for the industry to come back to life.
Original Story
Wyoming, Montana: Coal Production and Reserves Tops the Nation 01/18/2005
Coal use is expected to increase during 2005 as a result of its cheaper price, and in the Wyoming and Montana region, because it burns cleaner than coal in other parts of the country. Wyoming is already the top coal producer in the country and Montana has the largest coal reserves in the country with Wyoming third.
Original Story
Wyoming: New Rule May Affect Coal-bed Methane Industry 01/10/2005
A new ruling eliminating in-channel dam construction under general permits may affect the coal-bed methane industry. A judge ruled that the Corps of Engineers can no longer issue general permits that allow producers to construct in-channel reservoirs that could affect agriculture down stream. Reservoir building for coal-bed methane must now be issued on a site-by-site basis.
Original Story
Colorado: Coal Mine to Close 01/05/2005
The Seneca coal mine in northwestern Colorado will close by the end of the year after all workable coal reserves have been depleted. The mine accounted for about 4 percent of Colorado's coal production. After the mine is closed the reclamation project will begin.
Original Story
Navajos Purchase Oil and Gas Field on Tribal Lands 12/23/2004
(Denver Post) Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company and partners Resolute Natural Resources Company announced their joint purchase of the Chevron Texaco Greater Aneth Field oil and gas wells in southeast Utah. The Navajo company was formed to fulfill the tribes goals to own and operate energy resources on Navajo land.
Original Story
North Dakota: Testing New Mercury Control Technologies 12/22/2004
The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announced it is participating in a project to test the new mercury control technologies for utilities that burn lignite coal. The project will study the mercury removal effectiveness of materials that absorb mercury, new injection technologies that use particulate control devices, and operational approaches.
Original Story
Wyoming: Additional Coal Bid Pushes Total to More Than $1 Billion 12/17/2004
Kennecott Energy Co has won another bid worth $139 million for additional coal in the Powder River Basin. This brings the total for Wyoming's coal leases to more than $1 billion, half of which comes back to the state. The money will be split among colleges and universities, local governments and k-12 school construction.
Original Story
Wyoming: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Reconsiders CBM Leasing 12/17/2004
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will reconsider past and future leasing of coal-bed methane development. The BLM has issued two "scoping notices" for two environmental assessments. The scoping notice activates a 30-day public comment period, but the BLM has no plans to hold a public meeting.
Original Story
Wyoming: New Clean Coal Processing Plant Being Built 12/08/2004
The KFx company of Denver has begun the construction of a 50 million dollar clean coal plant in Gillette, Wyoming. K Fuel technology is different than normal coal processing. It uses a combination of heat, pressure, and time in order to extract the water out of the coal. As a result, the coal's heating capacity will increase while the mercury and sulfer will decrease. Normal coal processing uses just heat to remove the water. The plant is expected to be completed by this summer.
Original Story
Colorado: Denver Firm Claims Coalbed Methane Fields Are Renewable 11/17/2004
Luca Technologies Inc. claims that gas-producing bacteria that feed on coal can produce coalbed methane. Researches at Luca claim that the Powder River Basin in northern Wyoming is producing methane in "real time". The company believes it can speed the production of natural gas by injecting bacteria and nutrients underground.
Original Story
Utah: Elevated Arsenic Levels Found in Trout 11/01/2004
Trout found in the Silver Creek area have been found to have elevated levels of arsenic. For years, metal mining has occured in the area and may be a cause according to John Contreras a state epidemiologist. People are being warned to limit their consumption of fish from the Silver Creek area.
Original Story
Utah: Uranium Mill Workers to Gain Compensation 10/12/2004
Many Utahns sickened by radioactivity from the nation's atomic weapons program in the 1950s and 1960s will now be compensated. A provision put into the Defense Authorization Act authorizes the compensation through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
Original Story
Governors Seek to Provide New Energy Resources in Western States 09/30/2004
In order to lower the cost for consumers and export power to California, a panel of governors from Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho recommended new power plants and transmission lines to unlock energy reserves in these states. Utilities and other investors are sought to help with the costs that range from $72 million to $11 billion depending on which proposal is implemented.
Original Story
Utah: Engineering Firm Tests "Smart" Oil & Gas Drill 09/20/2004
New technology allowing natural gas and oil explorers to drill safer, more productive wells has been successful tested in full-scale commerical drilling. Intellipipe (TM), was developed by Novatek Engineering in Provo, Utah, with funding from the Energy Department.
Original Story

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