Thank you once again to all our readers in our second year here at Western Wire—a big year for stories across the West that continued to be shared, just as we wrote last year at this time, on social media and the halls of Congress, state legislatures, state and federal agencies, and most importantly, to the residents of the states in the West we cover on a day-to-day basis.


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UCLA law professor Ann Carlson is thankful for the role wealthy plaintiffs’ attorneys play in advancing climate change litigation across the country. She is also grateful for the significant funding her UCLA law clinic receives to focus on climate litigation efforts. But what’s not always clear is Carlson’s own position …

Western Wire

U.S. energy independence is within reach. Considered in the international context, U.S. energy independence means accelerated economic expansion and enhanced security for our country and its allies. But with that goal so near in sight, a proposition is being considered in the state of Colorado – a longtime vanguard in …

An army of lawyers whose mission is to stop President Trump’s agenda are being embedded, sometimes very quietly, in state attorneys general (AG) offices across the country. These lawyers are bought and paid for by one of America’s most notable billionaires and political activists, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. …

Gonzalez: American Energy Protecting Our Environment

by U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez September 13, 2018

There is an unnecessary divide between those who advocate for conservation and those who promote American energy independence. Some claim that supporting one dooms the other. But they are not diametrically opposed. Legislation like H.R. 6510, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, demonstrates that energy production and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand. The energy renaissance has helped revitalize our communities and underwrite our country’s efforts to preserve precious parks and historical sites for future generations.

Ryan Seastrom/COGA

The return of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual Energy Summit this week comes just a couple weeks after one of the largest gatherings in our industry’s history and what was a powerful showing of a more than three-thousand oil and natural gas workers. That event was largely overlooked by local media, which we hope is not repeated this week.   It was truly a remarkable afternoon in early August when more than three thousand oil and gas workers – and their families – made their way down to the Colorado State Capitol to rally in support of jobs and contributions to the state.  Energy workers and advocates stood out in coordinated t-shirts as they walked down the 16th Street Mall. The shirts expressed clearly what the event was all about: from “Energy Proud” on the front to the listing of “Top Ten Reasons to Love Oil and Gas” on the back.

Who’s In Charge Here?

by Greg Walcher August 17, 2018
U.S. Capitol Washington D.C.

Shutterstock / Kent Weakley

Restaurant owners may know that open-faced sandwiches are regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services. But if a second piece of bread is added on top, it is regulated by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). That’s because the USDA has a very specific definition of a sandwich: two slices of bread with the meat in the middle. So, is a hot dog a sandwich? The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says no, but the State of California says yes. How about a burrito? Massachusetts ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich, but New York says it is. A cheese pizza is regulated by the FDA, but add pepperoni and it becomes a USDA matter. When you make an omelet, FDA regulates the eggs you crack, but if you pour liquid eggs from a carton, it’s USDA.