You are here: home   Issues   217   Water is more precious than gas

Water is more precious than gas

Document Actions



Dear HCN,


Thanks for the recent article on coalbed methane (CBM) in the Powder River Basin (HCN, 11/5/01: Wyoming's powder keg). While some of our issues here in the Raton Basin are slightly different - fewer ranchers, more rural residential development, no celebrity poster child - we appreciate any visibility that CBM development gets. The change that is possible from the scale of development being contemplated is truly frightening when one loves the land.


One point of clarification: Hal Clifford's article incorrectly states, "In Colorado, coalbed methane water is reinjected into deep strata." While that method of disposal is common in the San Juan Basin, here in the Colorado portion of the Raton Basin, most wells have their produced water discharged to pits or to the surface ("state waters"). The water being produced here is sufficiently high in quality that the CEO of one CBM company appeared on videotape boastfully drinking water right out of a CBM well. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey in a 1989 publication identified the coalbed aquifers as the most reliable water sources available for future growth and development of the region.


It seems a travesty in a semi-arid climate that our precious water is being pumped and drained away with little the public can do about it. One would never know from CBM development that water is more precious to life than natural gas and electricity. Keep up the good work.


Jenifer Morrissey
Aguilar, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone