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The Montana affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters, a group backed by California billionaire Tom Steyer, is all-in for U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in the Treasure State. A Western Wire review of campaign finance records at OpenSecrets.org uncovers Tester’s biggest contributor so far in the 2018 election cycle, …

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told a Senate Appropriations Committee that legislation to develop a public lands infrastructure fund from revenues from oil and gas development on federal lands was a “top priority” for the agency during a hearing on Thursday. “The President has been very clear about his priorities and is …

Calls For RFS Reform As Ethanol Battle Continues

by Michael Sandoval May 9, 2018

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The Renewable Fuel Standard had its day at the White House, with President Trump hearing from ethanol supporters on policies to ease the expanded use of the fuels, and opponents calling for reform and even an end to mandate they say hurts consumers and does little to help the environment. Trump met with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the White House earlier today to discuss the controversial Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates favored by ethanol supporters in states like Iowa but opposed by agricultural associations, manufacturers, recreational advocates, and taxpayer coalitions.

U.S. Department of the Interior

The Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, is “demanding” more of his department’s employees as they tackle streamlining environmental analyses and reorganizing the department’s management areas, according to Christian Reece of Colorado’s Club 20. Reece, Executive Director of Club 20, gave Western Wire exclusive insight into the invitation-only, no-media event hosted by her organization in conjunction with the Interior Department last week in Grand Junction, Colo.

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A Colorado oil and gas company has announced a plan to mitigate, reduce, and eliminate noise, light, and other impacts of operations around a Northern Colorado school by shifting 80 percent of drilling and other activities outside of school hours, according to a statement. Extraction Oil & Gas will reduce drilling and completion efforts at its Vetting site located just east of Greeley, Colo., to mitigate any disruption at nearby Bella Romero Academy.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWildernessSociety

Former Democratic governor and Obama Administration officials agreed for the need to streamline and improve the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approval process during a panel discussion hosted by the Wilderness Society today. “One of the criticisms of the Obama administration was overreach, regulatory overreach. And that might be a fair criticism, there may be places where the administration overreached in certain areas or certain aspects,” said Bill Ritter, current director of the Center for New Energy Economy and former Democratic Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2010. 

Denver Capitol

Source: Hustvedt

A House Democrat representing a Denver suburb compared oil and natural gas development to making explosives and rat poison during debate on the Colorado House floor at the Capitol on Monday. In comments over HB-1352, Rep. Matt Gray (D-Broomfield), a sponsor of the bill to clarify setbacks near schools, told his colleagues, “If all you hear about what’s going on is what happens at this well, what you see in the newspaper, you don’t understand what that means to the residents who are affected by that. You would understand it if somebody said, ‘I want to put a fireworks factory in your district.’ People would be like, ‘What is going on, you’re going to put that next to a neighborhood?’”