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Kara MasonKara MasonMarch 28, 20183min1389

The Trump administration’s “make America safe through energy independence” plan may be taking hold of eastern Colorado, near the Great Sand Dunes.

A news release from the Bureau of Land Management this week said the agency is proposing oil and gas leases on nearly 22,000 acres of federal land across a swath of Colorado. Eleven parcels are located in Huerfano County equaling about 18,000 acres, two parcels in Kiowa County, three in Lincoln County and two in Washington County.

Another 1,495 acres is being considered in Weld County.

The Royal Gorge field office for BLM is now accepting comments on the proposal’s environmental assessment — which Field Manager Keith Berger said are welcomed and encouraged.

“We appreciate the public interest and public input we’ve received on the proposal to lease these parcels, and we look forward to input on the environmental assessment,” Berger said in a released statement. “No leases are proposed in the San Luis Valley and no leases are part of Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.”

In the release Berger is said to be “stressing the importance of accurate information for the public” about what is and isn’t being proposed: namely that there will be no leases on Great Sand Dunes land. The proposed location is on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Sand Dunes are on the western side.

The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council is also urging the public to make comments. But the non-profit organization has concerns about the proposal and its impact on water, wildlife and the dunes, saying the closest parcels are less than 10 miles from the national park.

The America First Energy Plan has been controversial in that is a drastic step away from the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Trump’s plan makes no mention of any alternative energies and focuses in on oil, gas and coal.

“We will bring new opportunity to the heartland, new prosperity to our inner cities, and new infrastructure all across our nation. When it comes to the future of America’s energy needs, we will find it, we will dream it, and we will build it,” President Donald Trump said in a speech in August.

Forty-nine percent of each lease sale would go to back the state, according to BLM’s release.


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Bob BeauprezBob BeauprezJanuary 4, 201813min3687

A great many, even among those who voted for Donald Trump, openly questioned his conservative bona fides during the 2016 campaign. Some of his most ardent supporters (see Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham) quickly migrated from being the self-appointed enforcers of “Principled Conservatism” within the Republican Party to an unqualified endorsement of the new “Trumpian Populism” to justify their support. Others weren’t so sure.


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Ray ScottRay ScottOctober 20, 20176min1062

The Environmental Protection Agency has published official notice of plans to withdraw the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). States will no longer be required to meet the specific carbon emission goals mandated by the CPP and will be free to develop their own goals and emission standards for power plants.


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Stan DempseyStan DempseyOctober 16, 20175min1110

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just did a big — though little-known — favor for states like ours that use coal to generate electricity. His decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP) lifted a massive regulation from our state’s economy, sparing our industries and households from the effects of a weakened power grid, higher power prices, and lost jobs.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 14, 20177min853
The Trump administration’s move to scuttle the national Clean Power Plan will have little effect on climate-change efforts or coal jobs in Colorado. Nonetheless, both sides in the Colorado debate brought the heat last week after Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said “the war on coal is over.” It’s been […]

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Luke PopovichLuke PopovichMay 26, 20175min671

Energy Secretary Rick Perry hit a raw nerve in Washington recently when he announced his department will undertake a study of the possible impact that federal regulations have had on U.S. electric grid reliability. Essentially, the Department of Energy will look at “critical issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid.” The review will consider whether “regulatory burdens” and “mandates and tax and subsidy policies” for renewable energy are forcing coal units into retirement.


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Stan DempseyStan DempseyApril 3, 20175min377

Many Americans have already forgotten about the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama administration’s signature effort to reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants — but not the nation’s coal communities. They’ve lived with this regulation as an ever-present threat even after its implementation was stayed by a federal court. Colorado’s coal communities saw the CPP for exactly what it was: a thinly-veiled assault on their livelihood — and one that would would cripple an already reeling industry while providing little environmental benefit.