A University of Colorado Boulder professor said President Donald Trump’s reported decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement offers an opportunity for the crafting of bipartisan climate policy. “Paris is but a means to an end, and arguably, not much of one anyway. Trump gives climate advocates an opportunity,” Roger A. Pielke, Jr. tweeted. “The opportunity is to reimagine an approach to US climate policy that is acceptable, even fought for, by Republicans.”
Utah’s congressional delegation called on the Trump administration last week to rescind large-scale national monument designations in the state and to establish a new approach that takes into account the views and needs of impacted communities. Utah has “repeatedly fallen victim to overreaching use of the Antiquities Act—a law that has become a tool of political advocacy rather than public interest,” Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and Reps. Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart, Jason Chaffetz and Mia Love wrote in a May 25 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Andrew J. O’Connor, the activist at the center of controversy over his comments calling for violence towards oil and natural gas workers, had numerous exchanges this year with leading Democratic officials in Boulder and Broomfield, Colo., according to emails obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act. Even after O’Connor’s call for violence was published in a letter to the editor, Broomfield City Council Member Kevin Kreeger wrote: “I applaud your energy and your desire to fight for what’s right.”
The federal government has no precise way of measuring its hundreds of millions of acres in land holdings or accounting for them in a systematic manner, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) told a House committee during a hearing yesterday. “One of my great frustrations is the fact that although the federal government owns some 640 million acres of land it is such a bad landlord. [It doesn’t] take care of this land and can’t even provide a comprehensive list of its land holdings,” McClintock said, noting the Government Accountability Office “has warned for years of these forgotten and abandoned lands.”
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) used a recent town hall appearance in his home state of Colorado to criticize “Keep It in the Ground” activists and their campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline, disagreeing with their positions on domestic energy development. “My objection to it is that it did nothing to build the environmental movement,” the Democrat said Friday about opposition to the oil pipeline during the town hall in Boulder. “It did nothing to persuade people that didn’t agree with us that climate was something really important.”
A move proposed this week by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico and two fellow Democrats to repeal the Congressional Review Act is receiving pushback in the West. “The Congressional Review Act is a critical tool for Congress to use to ensure government works better for taxpayers,” Ryan Flynn, executive director of the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, said in a statement to Western Wire.
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected today to recommend against appealing a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in a lawsuit concerning oil and natural gas development in the state, multiple sources tell Western Wire. The ruling, if left to stand, would upend how the state’s oil and natural gas regulatory agency has approached project permitting for decades. Regardless of the governor’s recommendation, the decision to appeal the ruling rests with state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R).