Re-Vegetation At Colorado Plateau Abandoned Well Sites Show Progress, USGS Study Reveals

by Michael Sandoval February 15, 2019

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad. Credit: Jessica Mikenas, USGS. Public domain.

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study released this week on vegetation recovery at plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites across the Colorado Plateau found that nearly one third of sites saw 50 percent of vegetation as nearby reference sites after three to six years. Using satellite, soil, and climate data, USGS authors examined 365 well sites in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico for re-vegetation patterns. The well sites date from 1985 on and were abandoned in 1997 or later.

Oil And Gas Revenues Drive Education Funding in New Mexico, Colorado

by Michael Sandoval February 14, 2019

Shutterstock / Sherry Talbot

Two new studies released in January underscore the importance of oil and natural gas revenues’ impact on education funding in New Mexico and Colorado. The news comes as New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) pushes for an increase in teacher salaries and universal preschool and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) calls for full-day kindergarten.

New Mexico State Legislature Introduces Four-Year Fracking Moratorium Bill

by STAFF February 8, 2019
New Mexico Flag

Credit: Shutterstock / Jiri Flogel

A bill that would institute a four-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New Mexico has been introduced in the state legislature and is raising questions about the impact such a proposal would have on the nation’s third-largest oil producing state. The bill, SB 459 calls for New Mexico’s Department of …

Acting DOI Secretary Bernhardt Visits New Mexico to Promote U.S. Energy

by ELENA CONNOLLY February 6, 2019

Source: Twitter/@DOIDepSec

Following President Trump’s State of the Union address, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt  paid a visit to Hobbs, N.M. today to help promote the administration’s agenda on energy issues. Bernhart spent the afternoon on-site at Watson Hopper, Inc., a company that manufacturers and sells equipment for oil rigs. …

Congressional Outlook: Energy Policy in 2019

by ELENA CONNOLLY February 6, 2019

Western Wire

As Congress refocuses on its work following the partial government shutdown and yesterday’s State of the Union address, leaders in both chambers have laid out their priorities around energy policy for the session and are starting to hold a flurry of hearings. The Democratic-controlled House is putting climate change front …

Bipartisan Lands Package Bill Set for Senate Vote as New Polling Shows Strong Support from Western Voters

by ELENA CONNOLLY February 1, 2019

As the United States Senate readies to consider legislation that funds a critical lands package, a new poll released this week shows strong support for the measure in the West. U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced yesterday that a vote has “been secured” for public lands package which includes a …