Colorado is a center of efforts to reinvigorate America’s space program. It’s home to programs developing the deep-space vehicle Orion and the cargo-carrying space plane Dream Chaser, as well as the rocket company that will soon lift astronauts into orbit.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste and Prevention Rule is the epitome of common sense. It requires oil and gas companies that maintain operations on tribal and federal public lands – land that is technically owned by the nation’s taxpayers – to use modern and cost-effective technologies to cut waste. This includes stopping leaks and ending the practice of burning off – commonly referred to as “flaring” – the natural gas.
Did you know that Colorado is a nuclear power? OK, that may be overstating it a bit, but did you at least know that it is home to a number of intercontinental ballistic missiles? It’s not a secret, it’s the 321st Strategic Missile Squadron, based out of F.E. Warren Air Force Base up the road in Cheyenne, Wyoming. How do I know, besides a Wikipedia search? I was there. My Air Force career began as an ICBM launch officer at Warren, back in the early 1980s. During my days pulling alerts, I visited Colorado often, as several of the Squadron’s ICBM control sites are just inside the Colorado border.
From outer space to Darryl Glenn, there were plenty of fireworks in Colorado Politics last week.
Our staff sized reservoirs, renewable energy and a variety of political maneuvers while others took the week off.
From a crowded field of contenders, these are the stories we think you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.
5. This is ground control to major economic impact
Kjell Lindgren proves Colorado’s roots run deep in space. The Air Force Academy graduate who also holds degrees from the University of Colorado and Colorado State spoke with Colorado Politics in a phone call from the ocean floor, where the astronaut was doing research much like he did on the International Space Station. Colorado is one of the top states for public and private endeavors in space, and Colorado politicians want to keep it up there.
With the Trump administration slashing budgets to pay for tax cuts, and with a dim view of climate change science in general, folks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden can only wait to see what that means for jobs and programs. Jefferson County, the state and technology innovators everywhere are waiting nervously, as well.
After nearly a decade and a half in the regulatory meat grinder, Denver Water said Friday night that it has approval from federal regulators to raise the dam on a reservoir that will store more Western Slope water. The massive water utility made massive concessions west of the Continental Divide to do the deal.
2. Welcome to Colorado, where the public lands run free
The Outdoor Retailer show, with its lucrative economic impact and Cliff Bar cache, is moving to Denver from Salt Lake City because of some Utah Republicans’ stance on putting federal public lands into state and local communities’ hands, which could lead to more development and drilling. The issue came to head over President Obama’s Bears Ears Monument in December in southeast Utah, not too far from the Four Corners.
El Paso County Commission Darryl Glenn, who came up short in a U.S. Senate run last year, says he will enter the Republican primary against incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn and state Sen. Owen Hill in the 5th Congressional District. In a separate story by Ernest Luning, Hill welcomed Glenn to the race and called him “short on accomplishments.”
Twenty Years Ago this Week in The Colorado Statesman … A statue of Jack Swigert, Apollo 13 astronaut, was unveiled in Washington D.C., memorializing the fallen Coloradan in Statuary Hall. Swigert died from cancer in 1982 just days before he was to be sworn in as Colorado’s first elected Congressman from the newly created 6th Congressional District.
"The most significant and inspirational journey in history" was what U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-CO7, called a provision in S. 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017. He wrote the measure, calling for a plan to successfully launch a human space flight mission to Mars by 2033.
The U.S. House unanimously approved the measure Tuesday night, March 7, and the Senate did likewise on Feb. 17. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. If signed, it would be the first NASA authorization bill to be adopted since 2010.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner wants to explore Mars.
Maybe not in person, but the Republican authored an amendment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act, a bill sponsored by Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and passed by the full Senate Friday, Feb. 17, that indicates an interest. Gardner's amendment calls on the space agency to develop a plan to reach Mars with specific timelines and benchmarks, so Congress can hold the agency accountable and provide oversight.
Three Colorado congressmen want greater government oversight of the NASA contractors who launch rockets at a time the space agency is trying to turn more of its operations over to private industry.
Another launch by a private company took place last week to resupply the International Space Station.
Although the flight from Wallops Island in Virginia was free of problems, other flights by NASA contractors SpaceX and Orbital Sciences were not so lucky.
A puzzling concentration of the greenhouse gas methane over the Southwestern United States appears to come mostly from leaks in natural gas production, scientists said Monday.
Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants.