The Department of the Interior (DOI) has taken significant steps in the past year to ease regulations of energy production on federal lands, and now the department is turning to social media to promote the benefits. Recently, DOI along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) unveiled a series of …

YouTube / Sen. Michael Bennet

La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt will speak before the state’s oil and gas regulators tomorrow as new questions arise about the embattled official’s advocacy efforts on behalf of conservation groups and local decision making. The commissioner faces a recall in her home county that is now in the signature-gathering phase.

YouTube / Tom Steyer

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), backed by California-based billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, is once again setting their sights on the West for the upcoming midterm election cycle. While the environmentalist group has spent big in the past, a new memo released by LCV’s Senior Vice President for Campaigns, Pete Maysmith, announced the group will spend a record $20 million in state races in 2018, which is double the group’s highest previous campaign expenditure. Steyer is a major funder of LCV. 

One of the world’s largest outdoor sportswear companies hopes to sync global environmental activism with local grassroots organizations through a new activist platform. In a recent launch video for Patagonia Action Works, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Inc., says he’s created “kind of a dating site” that the company hopes “facilitates human connection.”

Climate Direct Action

A Seattle activist who attempted to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline and was sentenced to at least one year in prison this week was hailed as a “hero” for his 2016 attack. Dr. James Hansen, former director of the U.S. NASA Goddard Space Institute and climate change activist, said after the sentencing that, “Michael Foster isn’t a criminal; he’s a hero.”


New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas’ promises to bring a “street fight” mentality and an emphasis on “environmental justice” to bolster his environmental credentials is now being underwritten by one of the biggest environmental philanthropists and political donors—Michael Bloomberg. The environmental tough guy act from New Mexico chief legal officer isn’t without some merit–Balderas has received backup from New York University School of Law’s new State Energy and Environmental Impact Center. The center provides law fellows to state attorney general offices courtesy of a $6 million grant in August 2017 from Bloomberg Philanthropies, named for billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Shutterstock / Sherry Talbot

A boost in New Mexico’s land grant fund has sparked a race for educational funding that could include a statewide ballot measure for increasing early education initiatives. New Mexico’s general fund will see a $107 million increase this year, with the bulk of the growth coming from the state’s oil and gas school tax and revenues from federal mineral leasing, according to a new report.

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