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The Environmental Protection Agency has no plan to force a delay in a planned September oil and gas lease sale by the Bureau of Land Management in southern Colorado, according to the region’s agency head. EPA’s Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento told Western Wire that any notion of his office attempting to halt BLM sales or challenge BLM’s process was inaccurate.

Western Wire

Legal experts and manufacturers said climate change lawsuits like the one recently filed by Boulder and San Miguel counties and the City of Boulder against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy would prove frustrating, costly, and time-consuming. “Is it [litigation] the most efficient way of going about doing it?” Rep. Cole Wist (R-Centennial), Assistant House Minority Leader asked. “If we have consensus that this is an important policy issue that we should come together on and try to achieve solutions, there are better vehicles for us to do it,” he added.

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With Memorial Day weekend nearly here, the traditional beginning of the busy summer holiday travel season when millions of Americans head to the nation’s public lands for recreation, sightseeing, and appreciation of natural wonder, many travelers will encounter a system of failing infrastructure, eroding trails, and other inconveniences at their favorite national parks and monuments. Fixing the nation’s $11.6 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog won’t be easy, but a bipartisan bill proposing to reinvest around half of the nation’s energy development revenues on public lands back into park repairs might gain enough traction to begin rebuilding the nation’s public lands.

Western Wire

Four Colorado Democrats running for their party’s nomination in the June 26 primary declined to endorse the climate lawsuit brought against Exxon and Suncor by three Colorado communities in a debate Saturday hosted by Colorado Politics and the Colorado Springs Gazette. None of the four—U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, and former state senator Mike Johnston—endorsed the litigation filed in April by the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County charging that the “companies pay their fair share of the costs associated with climate change impacts.”

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As a record number of Americans hit the streets this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, gasoline prices will be sitting at multi-year highs thanks to an increase in global demand and economic growth, falling fuel inventories, and uncertainty in countries like Venezuela and Iran. The travel group AAA estimates more than 41.5 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend, the most in more than 12 years and a 5 percent increase over last year. The vast majority of those trips—36.6 million—will be by automobile.

https://www.daines.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/DAINES%20WSA%20MAP%20Hearing.pdf

Two members of Montana’s Congressional delegation have criticized a recent poll saying the state opposes the removal of some of the Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) being outlined in legislation that would expand public use and access. U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines took aim at the survey from the University of Montana’s “Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative” that claims public opinion in the Treasure State is opposed to the reduction of WSA areas.

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, …