Kara MasonKara MasonMarch 28, 20183min1256

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.


Associated PressAssociated PressFebruary 5, 20181min605

Weld County in northeast Colorado is poised to see a record for oil production.

For 2017, production through November is sitting at more than 105 million barrels of oil. When December numbers are counted that could easily go up to 116 million barrels of oil produced out of the county, an all-time high.

The Greeley Tribune reports the current record of 109 million barrels of oil was set in 2015.

Don Warden, county finance director, says 2017’s oil and gas production likely will boost Weld’s assessed valuation by 5 percent to 6 percent for the 2019 budget.

Weld’s largest oil and gas operator, Anadarko Petroleum, plans to spend $950 million this year in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, which essentially covers all of Weld County.

The report comes as lawmakers hear a bill that would give local communities more authority to regulate wells, and Colorado braces for a governor’s race that could pit Big Oil against Democratic candidates who want to wean the state completely off fossil fuels by 2040.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 19, 20184min1011

Republican Victor Mitchell topped a straw poll conducted Wednesday night by the Colorado Hispanic Republicans at a forum for gubernatorial candidates in Westminster. The entrepreneur and former state lawmaker garnered 38 percent of the vote, running well ahead of four other Republicans who participated in the forum and one — former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo — who didn't make it because of a bout with the flu.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirAugust 3, 20173min446

Weld County’s reputation for going easy on taxpayers has been elevated to formal recognition. The county has picked up an award from the American City County Exchange, praising Weld’s “efforts to alleviate the tax burden on residents as well as progress in eliminating county debt,” according to a press release from the exchange.

Though the exchange’s first-ever Taxpayer Friendly Community Award was handed out last month in Denver at the annual meeting of parent group American Legislative Exchange Council — Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer formally accepted the honor at a reception July 19 — publicity is evidently just now making the rounds.

From the exchange press release issued today:

Jon Russell, Director of ACCE, noted Weld County’s achievements, lauding “Weld County is the Gold Standard for fiscal responsibility for localities across the country, having saved taxpayers more than $420 million since 2002. With no sales tax and no debt, I can think of no county more worthy of the very first Taxpayer Friendly Community Award than Weld County, CO.”

Barbara Kirkmeyer reaffirmed her county’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, saying, “The commissioners have been diligent in our pursuit of reducing the tax burden to our constituents and we will remain strong on our commitment to ‘pay cash as we build’ so future generations of Weld County taxpayers will not be saddled with any debt.”

Also noted by the exchange:

Weld County’s retirement plan is more than fully funded at 103 percent with assets valuing more than $255 million dollars. The county ranks 4th lowest in the nation  at $962.12, and 6th lowest in the nation in per capita tax costs at $438.38.

The conservative, pro-free market American Legislative Exchange Council has been an advocate of limited government and a resource for model legislation to generations of (mostly Republican) state legislators in Colorado and across the country. Spinoff ACCE, geared toward local government, bills itself as “America’s only non-partisan forum for elected local officials who believe taxpayers should come first in every decision.”


Bob WinklerBob WinklerApril 21, 20175min1544

It's important to remember that mineral extraction has never been safe or without risk but with extreme methods it's become even more risky. Running Weld counties economy on mineral resources that use and release toxins is an unavoidable part of extraction and requires a "sacrifice zone," which is labeled as less inhabitable by poisoning in the name of profits.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 22, 20178min884

Just days before allegedly forging his former wife’s signature on a mail ballot and fraudulently voting in the November election, Steve Curtis, a former Colorado Republican Party chairman, railed against the “crooked Democrats” and their propensity to commit voter fraud in an hour-long interview on the conservative morning radio talk show he hosts.