News

Shutterstock

New Mexico’s 3rd quarter oil and gas lease sales for parcels on lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management drew nearly $1 billion in competitive bids last week, driving the bureau’s quarterly lease sales to record heights. “[T]he Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) third-quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico broke all previous records by grossing nearly $1 billion in bonus bids for 142 parcels. The two-day sale brought in more revenue than all BLM oil and gas sales in 2017 combined, and surpassed BLM’s previous best sales year,” DOI said in a statement.

Shutterstock

On Tuesday the City Council of Thornton, Colo. voted 7-2 on a resolution opposing Proposition 112, a statutory ballot measure that would impose a 2,500-foot setback on all new oil and natural gas development on non-federal lands in the state, with the city’s mayor calling it “too extreme for Thornton.” The vote comes a day before more than 30 civic and business groups announced the formation of a broad coalition opposing Prop 112, led by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Club 20, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the Colorado Municipal League, and the Colorado chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue to prioritize Superfund clean ups, transparent and effective risk communications, and listening to communities said EPA’s Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler met with EPA Region 8 staff and employee leadership on Monday in Denver. Afterwards, he sat down with Western Wire to discuss his Region 8 tour of Superfund sites and the agency’s need for better risk communications with communities affected by decades-long clean-up efforts and for communities just beginning to deal with new environmental issues.

Western Wire

The two men vying to become Colorado’s top legal officer battled over oil and gas permitting, the current officeholder’s conception of attorney general independence, and the need for more regulation in the energy space at a debate hosted by Club 20. Phil Weiser, a Democrat and the former dean of the University of Colorado Law school and a senior adviser in the Obama White House, squared off against Republican George Brauchler, the district attorney for the 18thJudicial District, Colorado’s largest, on Saturday evening at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colo.

City officials in both Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia are indicating their governments may be next to pursue climate lawsuits against energy companies. The City Attorney of Seattle revealed this week that his office is considering filing such a lawsuit and is partnering up with class action law firm, Keller …

George Brauchler, Western Wire

Colorado should not legislate through the courts, especially on environmental and energy issues, or push regulations that harm the state’s economy by targeting oil and gas, Republican George Brauchler said this week. Brauchler, the district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, is running for attorney general this year after departing the hotly contested GOP gubernatorial primary. He faces Phil Weiser, a Democrat and former dean of the University of Colorado Law school and an Obama White House senior adviser.

Shutterstock

As summer begins to fade into the upcoming Labor Day weekend, building support for fixing the nearly $12 billion in maintenance backlogs at the nation’s prized national parks and historical sites could become a little easier, thanks to a new tracking tool that breaks down individual state and park repair needs using federal data. The Pew Charitable Trust has launched a new deferred maintenance tool that tracks the estimated $11.6 billion in infrastructure and other maintenance backlogs throughout the National Park System (NPS). The site’s interactive data tool categorizes repair needs by state and by parks individually, using NPS raw information acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request.