U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

For western regions not in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone rule, regulatory relief and cooperative agreements may be on the table as solutions, the agency said in a report requested by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). EPA’s report was initiated by the Senate Finance Committee Chairman in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed in May, and directed the EPA to develop recommendations for alternative methods of ozone compliance through Congressional oversight and a re-examination of statutory authority. The report and comes as Western states continue to seek relief from revised ozone standards announced under the Obama administration.

Western Wire

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is all-in on a possible relocation of Department of Interior federal agency offices to Colorado, he said Thursday. “I’m all for it. I’m all for it, I think it would be great,” Bennet told Western Wire. “I think anything we can get out of Washington, D.C. and into Colorado, I’m for.”

Creating a ‘target zero’ safety culture and eliminating catastrophic injuries requires a program of intense training, bottom-up feedback, and worker and community-centric planning, according to oil and gas executives on Wednesday. The safety experts, speaking on a panel at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual “Energy Summit,” examined the move from safety procedures and improving equipment to inspiring a safety culture focused on workers, described as family, and the neighborhoods and communities where the industry operated.

Rep. Gosar/Facebook

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) rejected the charge that he—or any member of the Congressional Western Caucus—is “anti-public lands.” The chairman of the caucus called a recent $100,000 media push by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) attacking Gosar and three other House members “false” in an email to Western Wire.

YouTube / Tom Steyer

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).

Department of the Interior

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.

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