National environmental groups with close ties to California billionaire Tom Steyer continue to pour money into the west, this time targeting members of the Congressional Western Caucus. In a press release issued late last week, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) characterized the Western Caucus as “anti-public lands,” calling for the public to apply pressure to “anti-parks politicians.”
A longtime critic of the oil and gas industry had some surprising comments for Colorado’s business community at a luncheon last week. Colorado is “in a great place as a state” when it comes to the energy sector, according to Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who offered his outlook on the state’s energy market and competitiveness at a recent event sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI).
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) would receive a “warm welcome” should the Department of the Interior choose to relocate their office headquarters to Colorado starting in 2019. E&E News reported this week that employee notes from a July 21 meeting between Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and U.S. Geological Survey officials indicated a potential shift of the three federal agencies to Denver.
As lawmakers head back to their districts to hold townhalls during the August recess, some are being targeted by local chapters of national activist groups, according to documents available on social media. This comes as public support for Colorado’s split Senate delegation featuring a Democrat and a Republican remains in a virtual tie.
Water utilities and energy producers have called for a review of “undefined,” “duplicative,” and “problematic” regulations by the Department of the Interior as a result of the Trump administration’s Executive Order 13777. The order, which directed the Secretary of the Interior and all other Federal agencies to review regulations to “alleviat[e] unnecessary burdens placed on the American people” through agency “repeal, replacement, or modification,” gives broad latitude in assessing whether the regulations eliminate or inhibit job creation, impose excessive costs, or are otherwise unnecessary or ineffective.
In an effort to bring clarity to the U.S. energy industry, the Department of Interior (DOI) officially rescinded the “defective federal mineral valuation rule” promulgated under the Obama administration. “The decision by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) to repeal the Obama Administration’s Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Final Rule comes as welcome news to Wyoming and communities throughout the West,” Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in a statement through the Congressional Western Caucus.
La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt’s public calendar and expense reimbursement records show no indication of her doing public business during a trip to Washington D.C. in May, despite using her role as an elected official to participate in a press conference regarding a federal methane regulation with two U.S. Senators. According to Lachelt’s calendar and reimbursement documents obtained by Western Wire through a Colorado Open Records Act request, no documentation in connection with travel to the nation’s capital on or about May 9 is available, nor is there a request for reimbursement for travel-related expenses associated with county advocacy on the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule.