In exploring the hidden sides of the western shale oil and gas boom, the Rural West Initiative has looked at the impact of energy extraction on communities in North Dakota and Wyoming: on housing and infrastructure, strains on health care, disruption of local banks and the importance of refining state fiscal policies.
With our video feature "The New Western Fugitives," we now turn our focus on a side effect of gas extraction that is literally invisible: the build-up of “fugitive” emissions that contribute to high levels of ozone gas.
Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 13:31
(Photo: John Amos via Flickr)
True to the frontier attitude still prevalent here, oil and gas officials say there’s a treasure of fossil fuels in the West that will take America closer to energy independence than any plan conceived in Washington D.C.
While speaking to a group of energy industry leaders in Wyoming recently, Chesapeake Energy’s John Dill said his company — and other oil and gas developers — fully intends to implement their own American energy plan.
“The country has waited long enough for a national energy policy,” Dill told attendees of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority’s October meeting in Laramie. “So we’re going to take the bull by the horn and do it ourselves.”
Chesapeake Energy’s plan, “A Declaration of Energy Independence,” proclaims America’s “$400 billion a year” in foreign oil imports is “fiscally insane.” Toward American energy independence, Chesapeake created a $1 billion venture fund to convert transportation fleets from gasoline to compressed natural gas (CNG), aiming at the No. 1 driver for oil imports. The company invested another $150 million in Sundrop Fuels, which is developing what it calls a non-food biomass “green gasoline.”
“We believe American energy needs to be supplied 100 percent by domestic resources,” said Dill, director of Chesapeake’s corporate development and government relations.
With a huge presence in America’s current onshore drilling boom, Chesapeake Energy is the second largest natural gas producer in the nation. It’s recent acquisitions in the Denver-Julesburg Basin and Powder River Basin are part of an industry-wide shift toward developing shale oil.
Last modified Tue, 6 Dec, 2011 at 12:16
Cow Town to Boom Town: "A Feeding Frenzy"
Duration: 5:46 (download as podcast)
Click image to view interactive feature.
By Claire Woodard
The influx of wealth from the gas boom has brought a lot of new infrastructure, investment, and business opportunities to Sublette County, Wyoming. But it has also inspired an unfamiliar and sometimes troubling response among residents: greed.
Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 11:54
By Claire Woodard
Residents of Pinedale, Wyoming have decidedly mixed feelings about the area’s gas boom. Though the boom has brought wealth and much opportunity to the community, it has also presented a host of challenges, from a transformed town culture to environmental degradation.
In “Ambivalence,” Pinedale locals share their thoughts on the boom’s benefits and its drawbacks.
Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 11:55