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Calling his agency’s approach in the past “wrongheaded,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt fired back at Washington, D.C., rejecting the false choice between air and water quality and a growing economy in an exclusive interview with Western Wire. Pruitt also spoke before hundreds of conservative activists at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver Friday. The convention is hosted by Colorado Christian University.

University of Colorado

A recent study detailing how and where environmental philanthropic grants are allocated shows a lack of “intellectual diversity on the climate issue,” according to leading political scientist, Roger Pielke, Jr. The study, authored by Matthew Nisbet, Professor of Communication Studies and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at …

House Natural Resources Committee YouTube

Officials from New Mexico and Utah told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Wednesday that proposed legislation designed to streamline oil and gas permitting in their states, including shifting more responsibility to state regulators from the Bureau of Land Management, would boost their states’ economies without reducing environmental protections. The committee heard testimony on draft legislation from Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) concerning permitting cost recovery for protests of oil and gas lease sales, expanding categorical exclusions to waive National Environmental Policy Act reviews to streamline permitting, and waiving the requirement for federal permits for non-federal surface leases where subsurface mineral estate is less than 50 percent is federally owned.

Western Wire

Streamlining the federal permitting process and approving the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project were top priorities at a House Natural Resources Committee field hearing last week. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the committee chair, was hosted by Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District Rep. Scott Tipton at Colorado Mesa University.

Western Wire

A pair of agreements between Boulder County and lawyers in a climate lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy reveals the exposure to taxpayers should the legal gambit backfire, according to documents obtained by Western Wire. A contingent fee agreement with Hannon Law Firm and a pro bono retainer agreement with …

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The Environmental Protection Agency has no plan to force a delay in a planned September oil and gas lease sale by the Bureau of Land Management in southern Colorado, according to the region’s agency head. EPA’s Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento told Western Wire that any notion of his office attempting to halt BLM sales or challenge BLM’s process was inaccurate.

Western Wire

Legal experts and manufacturers said climate change lawsuits like the one recently filed by Boulder and San Miguel counties and the City of Boulder against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy would prove frustrating, costly, and time-consuming. “Is it [litigation] the most efficient way of going about doing it?” Rep. Cole Wist (R-Centennial), Assistant House Minority Leader asked. “If we have consensus that this is an important policy issue that we should come together on and try to achieve solutions, there are better vehicles for us to do it,” he added.