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Steve Vierck, President & CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County (EDCLC), told Western Wire that the 2019 session contained a great deal of uncertainty in his corner of the state. “Among the biggest concerns of oil and gas companies with operations within Lea County have been the anti-fracking bill, environmental review act, and the critical need for adequate funding for needed highway improvements,” Vierck said.

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Top New Mexico education officials and business experts observing the just-concluded legislative session in Santa Fe say that while the oil and gas industry is strong, it could face significant challenges in coming years that threaten the state’s budget and a boom in student education funding. During the 60-day session, bills passed to transition the state to a low-carbon electricity future and empowering the state’s Conservation Division to punish operators. A proposed four-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing failed to move out of the Senate Conservation Committee in late February.

Nearly 300 oil and gas workers joined Weld County and nonprofit officials at a rally Friday in Greeley to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 181, which they said threatens local and state tax revenues and especially their economy. The comprehensive oil and gas legislation has sailed through the State Senate on an expedited schedule and will make its first appearance in the State House on Monday in the House Energy & Environment committee.

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Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all used the power of the executive pen to set aside vast tracts of federal lands and create national monuments, but in an unusual move one member of Congress who sees such unfettered power as lacking in oversight and public input has asked the ex-presidents to testify before Congress. On Tuesday, Rep. Rob Bishop, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, invited the three previous presidents who put millions of acres into national monuments through the Antiquities Act to provide their “perspective” on the topic of presidential monument designations. Only four former presidents have ever testified before Congress, according to Politico.

Western Wire

The cost in local and state revenues of the proposed oil and gas bill currently speeding through the Colorado General Assembly could be devastating, or it could be mostly unknown, depending on who you ask. Senate Bill 181 cruised through the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday and the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday on party line votes and is headed to the Senate floor after a long but quick week that saw hundreds of witnesses testify for and against the bill in marathon sessions at the Capitol.

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This week state air regulators praised the more flexible approach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump Administration in a Senate hearing which they say allows them to craft polices that reflect the issues facing their states and implement effective environmental protections. Lawmakers heard from state officials at …

Western Wire

Roughly one thousand oil and gas workers and state lawmakers rallied early Tuesday at the Colorado State Capitol in opposition to a comprehensive oil and natural gas reform bill they say ignores the will of the state’s voters, threatens the state’s economy, and fundamentally misunderstands their jobs. Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and House Speaker K.C. Becker introduced a highly anticipated Senate Bill 181 late last Friday, just one day after a joint press conference with Gov. Jared Polis. The Boulder lawmakers hope to tackle what they see as problems with the state’s oil and gas regulatory body, expand communities’ level of local control, and clarify the state’s policy on forced pooling of mineral rights owners.


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