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Photo credit: Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust

Representatives of the construction industry told a U.S. House hearing yesterday that executive actions facilitating energy infrastructure projects, signed by President Donald Trump three weeks ago, have already created thousands of jobs. “From my personal experience, I can report that request for quotes and opportunities have kept my phone ringing in the few short weeks since the EOs [Executive Orders] were signed,” said Rex Ferry, a business owner representing the National Electrical Contractors Association.

Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment

“[T]his study’s conclusions are misleading,” Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement. The dispute between Colorado health officials goes back years. In 2014, Wolk issued a similar statement to debunk the findings of another paper that tried to blame birth defects in Colorado on oil and natural gas development.

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More than 40 years after becoming law, the Endangered Species Act has become almost unworkable for state and local officials in the West and needs to be reformed, former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) told a U.S. Senate hearing today. “Over time, the mix of regulations, court decisions, policy guidance and individual agency actions by Presidential administrations of different but still well intentioned views have created a nearly unworkable system,” Freudenthal said in written testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

House Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah)

U.S. House Resources Committee

The Congressional Review Act disapproval motion, passed by the U.S. House and now before the Senate, will save thousands of jobs that are supported by America’s domestic energy industry, including independent energy producers — the small, family-run businesses that are most heavily impacted by the BLM’s venting and flaring rule. Repealing the rule will also save vital streams of revenue for federal, state, and local governments that are used to support schools, infrastructure and other important services.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Officials in North Dakota are racing against time to move hundreds of cars and trucks from the site of an anti-pipeline protest before seasonal flooding sweeps the vehicles into the Missouri River. “There are roughly 200 vehicles down there at last count, ranging from cars and pickups to rental trucks,” George Kuntz, vice president of the North Dakota Towing Association, told Western Wire. At least one vehicle has already been found in the water, potentially leaking engine oil and gasoline, according to local law enforcement.

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With the Senate expected this week to take up measures that would revoke late-term Obama administration regulations, North Dakota’s leading business group has joined Western lawmakers in urging the repeal of a rule targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands.

Photo credit: Senate Budget Committee

With the Senate potentially voting this week on a measure that will overturn a rule targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands, Washington, D.C., media have reported that some key Western lawmakers remain on the fence. But follow-up inquiries by Western Wire tell a different story: There is strong support in the West for repealing the Obama administration’s last-minute “venting and flaring” rule.