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Western Wire

A nearly unanimous bipartisan panel of Colorado legislators raised their hands in opposition to Initiative 97, rejecting a proposed 2,500-foot setback measure that could threaten the state’s future oil and gas development if passed, calling it a “blunt instrument” that “goes too far” in endangering the state’s economy and thousands of jobs. Colorado Rising, the group responsible for the measure, is awaiting the Colorado Secretary of State’s review of the more than 171,000 signatures it submitted earlier this month. Successful validation must be concluded by September 5 in order for the measure to be placed on Colorado’s November ballot.

Ryan Seastrom/COGA

The return of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual Energy Summit this week comes just a couple weeks after one of the largest gatherings in our industry’s history and what was a powerful showing of a more than three-thousand oil and natural gas workers. That event was largely overlooked by local media, which we hope is not repeated this week.   It was truly a remarkable afternoon in early August when more than three thousand oil and gas workers – and their families – made their way down to the Colorado State Capitol to rally in support of jobs and contributions to the state.  Energy workers and advocates stood out in coordinated t-shirts as they walked down the 16th Street Mall. The shirts expressed clearly what the event was all about: from “Energy Proud” on the front to the listing of “Top Ten Reasons to Love Oil and Gas” on the back.

Who’s In Charge Here?

by Greg Walcher August 17, 2018
U.S. Capitol Washington D.C.

Shutterstock / Kent Weakley

Restaurant owners may know that open-faced sandwiches are regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services. But if a second piece of bread is added on top, it is regulated by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). That’s because the USDA has a very specific definition of a sandwich: two slices of bread with the meat in the middle. So, is a hot dog a sandwich? The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says no, but the State of California says yes. How about a burrito? Massachusetts ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich, but New York says it is. A cheese pizza is regulated by the FDA, but add pepperoni and it becomes a USDA matter. When you make an omelet, FDA regulates the eggs you crack, but if you pour liquid eggs from a carton, it’s USDA.

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Sixty-six House members have signed onto a bill to bring immediate funding to the National Park Service’s (NPS) nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog through an all-of-the-above energy revenue stream in a rare show of bipartisanship. The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act boasts broad support across the West as well as the rest of the country. The bill has 37 Democratic co-sponsors and 29 Republican co-sponsors, with 24 representatives of both parties hailing from Western states.

Western Wire

The City of Boulder has outsourced their public relations responsibilities to EarthRights International (ERI), the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit providing legal services to three Colorado communities in their joint climate lawsuits. A Western Wire email to Patrick von Keyserling, Communication Director for the City of Boulder, on Friday, July 20 opened with a series of questions inquiring if the “City of Boulder has any comment on the merits or chances of their case moving forward, now that the Colorado lawsuit has been moved from state to federal court?”

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As campaigns targeting energy-related investments continue to emerge across the west, officials in the region are pushing back against such policies. Recently, Bank of the West announced it was divesting from “coal, tar sands, shale oil and artic [sic] drilling – and investing and financing the transition to more sustainable …

Western Wire

The time for funding the nearly $12 billion national park maintenance backlog is now said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in front of Long’s Peak at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday. “Everyone loves our parks. I think it’s time now to prioritize,” Zinke said …