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Ohio Utica Shale

BLM backs off some Colorado leases of federal land

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

From the Marcellus Effect blog:

Thursday, February 7, 2013



Since last year, organic farmers, outdoors enthusiasts, and local businesses dependent on tourism have been trying to get the federal Bureau of Land Management to reconsider thousands of acres proposed for oil and gas leases in the North Fork Valley of Western Colorado. Yesterday the BLM removed 20,000 acres in Delta County from the Feb. 14 lease auction.
The decision follows months of sometimes raucous public meetings and more than 100 protest letters from organic farmers, vineyard owners and tourism businesses. Their argument: oil and gas drilling would jeopardize the vibrant and growing economy, and fail to protect the environment.
The BLM oversees oil, gas and mineral leasing on all federal lands. Under 90-year-old laws, companies and people can nominate public lands for drilling. BLM reviews the proposals, checking for other land uses including wildlife habitat and wilderness uses. Then, if there is no overriding conflict, the government is obliged to auction them - after some months of review and public comment.
What drew the ire of organic farmers and others in Delta County was the secrecy surrounding the nominations. Who chose those particular parcels, they wanted to know. A local activist group, Citizens for a Healthy Community, has a lawsuit pending under the federal Freedom of Information Act to find out the name of the nominator.
Residents also objected that the lease sale was being conducted using a 1989 resource management plan – a plan that ignores the dynamic growth of organic agriculture and other economic changes.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.