A newspaper in Boulder, Colo. published a letter to the editor this week calling for violent attacks on oil and natural gas workers and facilities. But instead of retracting the letter and issuing an apology, as other publications have done in similar cases, the newspaper let it stand with some minor edits. “If the oil and gas industry puts fracking wells in our neighborhoods, threatening our lives and our children’s lives, then don’t we have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers?” the author of the letter wrote in the Boulder Daily Camera on April 19.
A rally in Colorado to support the Obama administration’s last-minute restrictions on energy development on federal lands drew only a handful of protestors in a setback for anti-oil and gas groups. The April 18 event in Grand Junction, Colo. was supposed to show support for the “venting and flaring” rule, issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the final months of the Obama administration. But only a dozen protestors showed up, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday that it will reconsider a rule regulating methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector that was included in an executive order issued by the Trump White House last month to roll back the Obama administration’s climate agenda.
An economist who led the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) during the Obama administration has declared his support for building the Keystone XL pipeline. The news is a setback for environmental activists who are trying to pressure financial institutions into boycotting the project. The Obama administration delayed the permitting process for years and tried to block the pipeline. But former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said he disagreed with former president Barack Obama’s decision to oppose the pipeline. “One opinion I don’t have to stifle anymore is that I think the Keystone XL pipeline should have been built,” Sieminski said.
The bipartisan Western Governors Association (WGA) is working on a series of recommended changes to the 1970s-era Endangered Species Act (ESA) and more than four decades of species listings made under the statute since it was signed into law. WGA’s involvement adds momentum to the ESA reform debate on Capitol Hill, though environmental activists have vowed to derail the effort.
State and local environmental regulators have published a new report to set the record straight on the nation’s air quality and challenge the talking points of activist groups. “[H]ard-working state and local air agencies have been responsible for tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air quality,” the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies said today in the report. But these environmental outcomes have remained “under the radar for most Americans,” the report said. “With media more likely to report bad news combined with often apocalyptic framing by advocates and limited understanding of technical air quality information, it is no wonder that the public is often confused about air quality in their city, county, state, and nation.”
A Colorado-based researcher partnered with an anti-fracking group to publicize the results of her new research linking energy development to childhood cancer. She conceded, however, that research suggesting adverse health impacts from oil and natural gas development, including her team’s own work, is not actually sufficient to make that conclusion.