Bureau of Indian Affairs

The builder of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has filed a lawsuit after months of protests, project delays, and cleanup and law enforcement response that cost the company and taxpayers millions of dollars, alleging racketeering and defamation against prominent national activist groups. Energy Transfer Partners “filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota against Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., BankTrack, Earth First!, and other organizations and individuals,” ETP said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The Complaint alleges that this group of co-conspirators (the “Enterprise”) manufactured and disseminated materially false and misleading information about Energy Transfer and the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”) for the purpose of fraudulently inducing donations, interfering with pipeline construction activities and damaging Energy Transfer’s critical business s and financial relationships.”

Several leading western health experts and state health officials are among a select list of nominees now being considered by the Environmental Protection Agency for Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), the agency announced this week. The body provides advice and recommendations to the EPA administrator on air quality. The list of nominees includes public health officials like Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Chief Medical Officer for the state of Colorado, and Dr. Steven Packham, Toxicologist in the Division of Air Quality for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

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.”

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