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Simon LomaxSimon LomaxAugust 23, 201811min1083

Investors: Don’t buy what political activists are trying to sell you in Colorado. I’m surprised this reminder is even necessary, given how anti-oil and gas ballot measures collapsed in 2014 and 2016. But according to the Denver Business Journal, this month’s signature submittal for anti-oil and gas Initiative 97 “rattled some investors,” with a $3 billion drop in the combined market value of some of Colorado’s largest energy companies observed in the days afterward.


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Hugh McKeanHugh McKeanAugust 6, 20185min1956

At first glance, hearing that Colorado’s Democratic Party State Executive and Central Committee recently voted in resounding favor to support the oil-and-gas-killing Initiative 97 was not surprising. But as I thought more about the message this endorsement sends to all of Colorado I became increasingly frustrated by the news. I understand that there is an activist wing that has been vocally opposed to the oil and gas industry, and while I challenge any activist supporting this initiative to explain how Colorado’s economy, and more importantly Colorado’s K-12 schools, could adjust to billions in lost revenue if this industry was forced out of the state, I never expected the state Democratic Party to officially endorse this economically-crippling position. I am shocked and deeply concerned about what this means for Colorado.


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Leah CurtsingerLeah CurtsingerMay 23, 20185min1140

While new to many, Colorado celebrates a long history of collaboration to tackle the big challenges our state has faced. Colorado thrives because people from across our state work together, and our energy and natural resource development is a chief example. Here, some of the strictest government oversights of oil and gas production and energy efficiency requirements exist alongside strong agricultural communities and awe-inspiring outdoor recreation –  creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and supporting our quality of life. We achieve all this because of Colorado’s spirit.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 6, 20185min628

Anglers and environmentalists say President Trump’s plan to reshape the federal lease approval process for oil and gas is a means to muzzle their concerns.

The plan will “hand over public lands to the oil and gas industries,” according to the Wilderness Society.

The Interior Department released a memo Thursday instructing its field offices “to simplify and streamline the leasing process” for oil and gas leases with the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM will have 60 days to process a proposed lease, and the BLM offices “may” allow public participation, but it’s no longer mandatory. The window for public opposition to finalized leases is 10 days, and unresolved opposition can’t hold up a sale, according to the memo.

Trout Unlimited released a statement with a Denver dateline that accused the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of “rolling back efforts to protect sensitive fish and wildlife habitat and involve local communities, sportsmen’s groups and other in federal lands planning.”

Scott Braden, the wilderness and public lands advocate for Conservation Colorado, fired off a “rapid response” email to the 36,000-plus supporters of the state’s largest environmental organization:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will stop at nothing to bring oil and gas drilling to every corner of our public lands. This week, he has proposed to erase commonsense policies that protect our public lands from drilling, including in special places like wildlands and lands adjacent to our national parks. His proposal also cuts opportunities for public comment effectively silencing the voices of hundreds of thousands of stakeholders and individuals who value our public lands.

The fallout from this attack on our lands could be catastrophic. Zinke’s preferential treatment to his pals in the oil and gas industry will fast track the approval of permits to drill on millions of acres of public lands across the West.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican running for governor, last year sided with the BLM over environmentalists in lease issues.

“This is a step backward in efforts to balance energy develop with sporting opportunity,” Steve Kandell, director of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, said in a statement.

“The scrapping of master leasing plans dramatically reduces the opportunities for public involvement and shuts out the voices of local stakeholders, including sportsmen and women, in the management of their favorite places to fish and hunt.”

The move was not a complete surprise. Trump promised to roll back suck regulations, and in his State of the Union Tuesday night he reiterated what Zinke said on stage at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver last summer: The war on American energy is over.

BLM is key to the administration’s America First Energy Plan.

“Oil and gas lease sales on public land directly support domestic energy production and the President’s energy dominance and job growth priorities for America,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in a statement about increased domestic production last week. “2017 was a big year for oil and gas leasing on federal lands, and these sales provide critical revenue and job growth in rural America. We will continue to work into the next year to identify and modify unnecessary regulations that impede responsible energy development.”

Added Brian Steed, BLM’s deputy director for policy and programs: “These results are hard proof that our sound energy policy is working for both public lands and Americans in terms of reliable power and job growth opportunities. Going into the new year, we remain committed to an era of American energy dominance through our multiple-use mission that ensures opportunities for commercial, recreational, and conservation activities on healthy and productive public lands.”