The biggest gas drilling plan yet for Green River Basin

Encana could add 3,500 gas wells SW of Pinedale, WY-

Already reeling from the massive Jonah gas field, now a new field covering 4 times as much area is planned.  The “Normally Pressured Lance” natural gas field” (Son of Jonah, as some call it) comes at a time when the formerly pristine air of the Green River Basin has wintertime air so dirty it violates the standards.

Encana project could add 3,500 gas wells in Wyo. Mead Gruver, Associated Press

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management needs to asked how new drilling of this huge magnitude can be done until the agency can be sure the residents are being protected from the activities that are already underway.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council has a story on the project too (and a map). Agency needs to protect the residents of the Upper Green River Valley. By Bruce Pendery

Northern Utah, the land of filthy air

Worst in the country in the winter-

“Oh ye mountains high and the clear blue sky . . .”  These are words from a Mormon hymn that isn’t sung in church much anymore. I don’t know the reason, but it is appropriate because northern Utah has slowly developed the dirtiest air the country in the winter. High emissions are one reason, but the biggest factor is the strong temperature inversions that form in the mountain valleys whenever high pressure builds. High pressure usually means good weather, but not in northern Utah.

Cache Valley is the best (or worst) example. In part, I grew up there. I still remember the dirty winter fogs and the cloud of black that hung over Logan, a large town, when I was in high school. The black is gone because coal isn’t burned any more for space heating, but the pollution is now more widespread and more toxic.

The population of Cache Valley has grown. This is in part because of its beauty 3 seasons of the year. This means more traffic. In the remaining agricultural parts of the valley, CAFOs have proliferated. The result is residents breathing sun-modified auto emissions and manure emissions throughout the winter.

Utah’s bad air. Opinion in the Salt Lake Tribune

http://www.airquality.utah.gov/aqp/  This URL gives real time pollution levels, and they are not bad in the springtime.

In Pinedale, Wyo., Residents Adjust to Air Pollution

Just a generation ago . . . cleanest air the West set against the highest mountains in Wyoming-

It was wonderful to backpack, fish, and climb in the Wind River Mountains in the day when they did not overlook a miasma of gas field air pollution.

In Pinedale, Wyo., Residents Adjust to Air Pollution. By Kirk Johnson. New York Times.

Utah governor to sign Snake Valley water pact with Nevada

Does he care that it will turn the Nevada/Utah border into a dustbowl?

Guv ready to make Snake Valley water deal with Nevada. By Brandon Loomis. The Salt Lake Tribune

Don’t sign, governor. Snake Valley water pact needs work. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

We hoped the recent court loss by the Southern Nevada Water Authority would stop Utah’s new governor from buying into this corrupt bargain. Utah’s governor no doubt wants his own destructive water pipeline from Lake Powell across southern Utah to feed urban sprawl at St. George, UT.

Photos of how the Southern Nevada Water Authority deals with desert plants on the land is has grabbed. Does soil look like it isn”t going to just blow away?

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659698
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29653768
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659249
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659808

Utah’s dirty air problem is growing

Filthy winter air gets worse. Developments in Nevada could compound problem-

Utah’s air quality overall is relatively good. The problem is that it is bad, has been for a long time, and is getting worse where most of the people live — the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley.

Utah’s dirty air in population centers goes back to the days of primitive metal smelters located right in Salt Lake Valley. As all but one has closed, the problem has shifted to the emissions from and associated with the seemingly endless strip city from Brigham on the north to Payson on the south (where I am in a motel typing this story).

The EPA may soon impose sanctions on the state. If it stops the sprawl, that might be a good thing. See the story below.

Dirty-air problem is growing. EPA set a deadline. It won’t be easy. In fact, the state says, ‘It’s going to be really hard.‘ By Judy Fahys. The Salt Lake Tribune.

I want to add that developing problems in Nevada will only make it worse in the long run, such as the huge coal plants set to be built near the state’s western border at Ely and dewatering of Nevada valleys to feed continued growth in Las Vegas.

– – – – – – –
Update on the Ely Energy Center (Ely coal plant). Coal plant debate intensifies. In Ely, feelings about the environment and the economy overwhelm the agenda. Las Vegas Sun. By Phoebe Sweet

Still more on the Ely project. Nevada Energy delays Ely coal plant, hastens transmission line project. By Jeremy Twitchell. Las Vegas Sun

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DEQ issues ozone alert for Pinedale, WY

Gas development makes small rural town and surrounding area full of unhealthy air-

DEQ issues ozone alert for Pinedale. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune.

Latest Bush outrage: Ease up controlling airborne lead