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Photo credit: U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp

The entrance of Republican Rep. Kevin Kramer of North Dakota to the U.S. Senate race last week against first-term incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) could shake up not only the chances for the GOP in picking up a seat, but their chances of retaining the Senate overall in 2018. And a large source of that added scrutiny comes down to oil and gas regulations following Heitkamp’s closly watched votes on regulations like the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule in 2017.

Top federal government officials are now facing confrontations and threats similar to what has been seen at the state and local level over the past several years, reports from the country’s top environmental regulatory agency revealed last week. Meanwhile, Members of Congress have asked the Department of Justice if current laws sufficiently protect the public and energy infrastructure from threatening environmental activists. “[Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt] was approached in the airport numerous times, to the point of profanities being yelled at him and so forth,” Henry Barnet, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, told Politico.

Gov. Hickenlooper/Western Wire

At the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) called for a referred measure from legislators this session in order to raise severance tax revenues from oil and gas as a way to pay for the state’s water plan. If passed, the measure would be placed on November’s midterm ballot.

Flickr / Earthworks

California billionaire Tom Steyer has targeted state races in Colorado for the 2018 midterm, but some of the climate activist’s infrastructure has already been called upon to shore up the political fortunes of a local county commissioner. Conservation Colorado, a state affiliate of the Steyer-funded League of Conservation Voters (LCV), has launched and paid for a campaign to retain embattled La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, a Western Wire investigation shows.


The City of Boulder is considering “potential costs and risk” associated with launching a lawsuit against oil and gas companies, according to documents obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request. Boulder’s Mayor, Suzanne Jones, asked the City Attorney’s Office for advice on a possible climate change lawsuit against unnamed energy producers.


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.