Colorado’s Democratic governor, who has continually warned about the ability of western states to meet strict 2015 federal air regulations, said the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to delay implementation of the Obama administration’s ground-level ozone standard until 2018 would have little impact on his state’s efforts to continue improving air quality. “The delay of the 2015 standard will not deter our efforts to move toward compliance with the 2008 standard,” Gov. John Hickenlooper told Western Wire via email.
At an event hosted by Colorado business groups earlier this week, representatives of the oil and natural gas industry touted diversification programs, energy development in the state and efforts to improve the industry’s safety record. “Colorado is leading the way with workforce diversification. It is no secret that the oil and gas industry is old, male and white,” Colorado Petroleum Council Executive Director Tracee Bentley said. “I was thrilled when [the American Petroleum Institute] said, you know what, if there’s any state that could help change this, it’s Colorado.”
A bill to ban hydraulic fracturing in Nevada died earlier this week when it failed to emerge from the state’s Senate Natural Resources Committee and lawmakers adjourned at midnight on Monday. Assembly Bill 159, sponsored by Assemblyman Justin Watkins (D-Las Vegas), had passed the Nevada Assembly but saw no vote in the state Senate after a committee hearing on May 30. Nevada would have been the fourth state to ban fracking but the first in the West, following in the footsteps of Maryland, New York, and Vermont.
Officials across the West are applauding the Trump administration’s decision to give states an additional year to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone rule, which was made more stringent under the Obama administration. “It’s great to see the EPA working with Arizonans for a change,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said in a statement issued yesterday.
A Senate committee approved Deputy Interior Secretary nominee David Bernhardt earlier today. In a 14-9 vote, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Bernhardt’s nomination, which will be considered on the Senate floor next.
An advocacy group running ads against western Republican senators regarding their votes in May to repeal an Obama-era methane rule has deep ties to liberal donor George Soros, a review of Internal Revenue Service filings shows. The Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) launched a series of radio and print ads last week against a trio of western senators, according to Politico.
Several western Republicans welcomed the news that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement after an announcement made by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon. U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, called the Paris agreement a “bad deal” for America’s working families.