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Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 19, 20169min357

President-elect Donald Trump’s recent choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is creating concerns about sharp conflicts with Colorado’s environmentalists and advocates of legalized marijuana. Pruitt’s career has been marked by lawsuits against the EPA for what he described as clean air and water regulations that impose on states’ rights to regulate internal issues. Among them was Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry. For EPA opponents who view the agency as an overly-burdensome regulatory entity that has hampered economic development, news of Pruitt's appointment was welcomed.


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Tom RamstackTom RamstackNovember 22, 201611min369

“A Trump presidency could well be devastating to Colorado’s lands, waters and the environment,” said Pete Maysmith, executive director of the Denver-based environmental group Conservation Colorado. “Someone who has called climate science a hoax and wants to put an oil executive in charge of our public lands does not inspire confidence in ensuring our country is a leader in the effort to address the climate crisis.” Conservation Colorado, which supports the Clean Power Plan, says coal-fired power plants create special dangers for the state. “Carbon pollution and climate change are extremely dangerous, threatening Colorado with prolonged droughts, decreased snowpack, and bigger and more dangerous wildfires,” Maysmith said.


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David O. WilliamsDavid O. WilliamsSeptember 9, 201611min347

“Gail Schwartz, honestly, single-handedly helped in the decline … of the coal miners in the North Fork Valley, in my opinion,” said Rene Atchley, wife of a retired coal miner and mother of several children laid off from coal-mining jobs. “[Schwartz] claims to be a standup person, a fighter. All she has done is stand up and walk away from the people in her district after they asked her repeatedly to help us and she did not.” Schwartz has consistently defended her clean energy policies in the state Legislature, pointing to the need to shutter coal-fired power plants on the Front Range for air-quality reasons, the fact that the vast majority of the coal being burned for electricity in Colorado was coming from Wyoming, not the North Fork, and the overall global collapse of coal brought on by market forces such as the decrease in demand from China and the abundance of cheap natural gas.


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsSeptember 1, 20163min238

Regarding the column “Colorado’s collaboration on clean energy” that ran in the Colorado Statesman on August 24, the state’s clean energy economy has, indeed, seen remarkable growth over the past twelve years. But the energy default is still fossil fuels, and the deep pockets of some of the world’s biggest corporations are fighting to keep it that way. Despite the impressive speed with which renewable energy has grown, global warming is increasing even faster. We are going to need more than uneven state-by-state efforts to avert “catastrophic” global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).