Piceance Basin Oil & Gas

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Piceance Basin Oil & Gas

Date: 10/13/2023     State: CO     Issues: Oil and Gas, Wild Lands     Partners: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Mountain College, Conservation Colorado Airport Origin : Rifle, CO    


Community advocates and their children took to the skies to experience the beauty of their backyard and examine threats from proposed oil and gas development. The community advocates then published local media pieces about the family experience to educate their region about the threats oil and gas pose to families and public health amid a BLM public comment period.

The scale of natural gas development is difficult to grasp from the ground. From above, however, well pads, pipelines and roads create an expansive and dense web of infrastructure. For decades, EcoFlight has been using the aerial perspective to educate community members, the media, decision-makers, and elected officials about the impacts of natural gas development on communities and natural ecosystems.

Also visible from above are the disproportionate impacts of natural gas development on less affluent communities. The majority of oil and gas development in western Colorado takes place around these communities.

In response to two lawsuits filed by conservation groups, the BLM has recently released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction Field Offices for 2 million acres in Western Colorado. The plan will impact public lands from the Roaring Fork Rivers in Eagle and Pitkin counties to the Colorado River in Garfield County all the way to Grand Junction, and will have far-reaching impacts for the global climate and our local communities. This planning process presents a very exciting opportunity to secure a more sustainable future for coming generations and to make meaningful progress toward combating climate change if we do it right!

The BLM Public Comment period closes November 1st. EcoFlight and our partners at Conservation Colorado are working hard to push the BLM to secure land protections that offset existing oil and gas development, align with best available climate science, and implement innovative planning decisions to support local communities transitioning away from extraction. Submit a comment!

Click for geo-referenced photos from the flight. This .kmz file is best viewed in Google Earth

Flight Images

Flight Location