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Western officials critical of the sage grouse plans finalized under the Obama administration expressed cautious optimism regarding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent secretarial order that directs a review of conservation plans for the bird in 11 Western states. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) said he “appreciates” that Zinke’s review includes collaboration with states, and that Zinke “has taken time to review my letters regarding sage grouse.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke outlined his vision for making America a “dominant” global energy force in an interview with Reuters yesterday. “Energy dominance gives us the ability to supply our allies with energy, as well as to leverage our aggressors, or in some cases our enemies, like Iran,” Zinke said, encouraging drilling and mining on federal lands.
A six-member district court jury sided with a Colorado chicken farmer and affirmed his right to farm earlier this month, ending a multi-year lawsuit that carried implications for farmers, as well as business owners beyond agriculture, across the state. “The ruling is not only a win for the Hostetler family, but a win for the entire agricultural community and those who benefit from it,” Shawn Martini, vice president of advocacy for Colorado Farm Bureau, told Western Wire.
A local official in Broomfield, Colo., is under fire this week for his conversations with an environmental activist who has advocated violence against oil and natural gas workers. At a June 13 meeting, Councilman Kevin Kreeger faced criticism for communicating with Andrew O’Connor before and after the activist’s call in a letter to the editor for oil and gas opponents to “blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers.”
A Bureau of Land Management oil and natural gas lease sale in Roswell, New Mexico, last September had generated $145.6 million in revenue, but the $69.9 million payment to New Mexico was delayed for months because of protests by activist groups opposed to oil and natural gas development. Today, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration confirmed to Western Wire that the payment has been received by the state.
The Broomfield City Council is set to hold its first public meeting since emails obtained through an open records request revealed communications between Councilman Kevin Kreeger and a local activist who called for violence towards oil and gas workers. Andrew O’Connor’s letter to the editor appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera on April 19.
Colorado’s Democratic governor, who has continually warned about the ability of western states to meet strict 2015 federal air regulations, said the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to delay implementation of the Obama administration’s ground-level ozone standard until 2018 would have little impact on his state’s efforts to continue improving air quality. “The delay of the 2015 standard will not deter our efforts to move toward compliance with the 2008 standard,” Gov. John Hickenlooper told Western Wire via email.