Commentary

Montana Petroleum Association/Facebook

With more than two thirds of the United States, including the Western states, facing frigid temperatures, it’s a good time to remember the importance of reliable and affordable energy, and how it can actually save lives.  For this reason, and many others, I have been concerned by the recent push from environmental groups who are targeting Catholics.  Many of these activists are calling on the church to divest from fossil fuels. They use the pope’s encyclical to claim that this is the “moral” choice for Catholics and best way to help the poor. But what they don’t consider is: what happens to low income families when temperatures drop as low as they are now? Renewable energy has promise but it can’t yet provide enough power to affordably and efficiently heat millions of American families’ homes. Those who are already struggling to pay their energy bills do not need to be faced with even higher costs, which is what would happen if environmental activists got their way.

Time to Get Them Off Our Gravy Train

by GREG WALCHER January 2, 2018

EPA.gov

Sue and settle schemes reward pressure groups, and hurt the rest of America EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently issued a directive to end a 20-year string of “sue and settle” cases that have funneled untold millions of tax dollars to environmental organizations. Predictably, those groups and their allies have been …

Flipping The News Script In 2017

by STAFF December 29, 2017

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Our final list—we promise!—for 2017 comprises a collection of stories that either landed just outside our top social media hits or were left on the cutting room floor for our editors’ picks. Their significance still shines in different way—these stories “flipped the script” on conventional thinking or challenged a dominant news media narrative found elsewhere. As was typical of Western Wire’s diverse coverage in 2017, they reflect a broad interest in going beyond headlines for what Paul Harvey famously called, “the rest of the story.”

Welcome to Western Wire’s year-end newsletter review of 2017’s top stories as chosen by our readers and our editors.

Flickr / Earthworks

It’s not often that elected officials come forward and publicly and admit when they are wrong, so give La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt kudos for acknowledging in a Durango Herald op-ed that she should be more transparent in her dual role as both a county commissioner and the head of an environmental activist group. Lachelt grudgingly credited Western Wire reporting – albeit two months after questions were asked – for her promise to be more transparent. In reality, however, Lachelt’s op-ed raises significant questions that could have major implications on lobbying and disclosure rules moving forward.

The timing was rather ironic. And perhaps another example of why Western Wire is so needed in this current media landscape. On Monday morning, anti-fracking activists associated with national environmental groups took the opportunity to score headlines by disrupting a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meeting. Outlets from CBS …

Shutterstock

When we launched Western Wire earlier this year, our goal was to write stories and cover issues that traditional media was slow to report on. We had a hunch that the dwindling number of reporters meant there were important stories that weren’t getting the time and attention they deserve. A perfect example is Western Wire’s coverage of the cozy ties between elected officials and a controversial anti-fracking activist from Boulder County in Colorado.