Month: June 2012

Grand Junction Sentinel » Conservation groups victorious in Roan drilling lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled in favor of environmental groups in their lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to lease more than 50,000 acres on the Roan Plateau outside Rifle for oil and gas development.

In a 38-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger ruled that the agency failed to adequately address an alternative that would have prevented drilling on the plateau top. It also failed to sufficiently consider cumulative air quality impacts in conjunction with anticipated development on surrounding private land, or to adequately address ozone impacts.

Read the full story at:

Conservation groups victorious in Roan drilling lawsuit 

Salt Lake Tribune » Closed rebellion

Closed rebellion-Counties hide oil shale meeting

If various officials in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming don’t like the Obama administration’s decision to slow the rush toward potentially disastrous attempts to turn rocks and sand into fuel — and many of them don’t — they have as much right as anyone else to just say so.

It must have been a lot more fun, though, for commissioners from Uintah, Carbon and Duchesne counties to organize a clandestine gathering for themselves, some counterparts from Colorado and Wyoming, a couple of state officials and lobbyists from a so-far imaginary industry that claims to know how to turn the region’s oil shale into gasoline at a competitive price. All the better to style themselves as the oppressed as they hammered out their resolutions of objection.

 By acting this way, officials who are clearly salivating over the very thin prospect of an oil shale boom succeed only in undermining their own legal, political and ethical case.
Read the full editorial at:

Closed rebellion 

ThinkProgress » Members Who Supported Massive Giveaway To Big Oil Have Received $38.6 Million From The Industry

From ThinkProgress-

The House of Representatives, which already holds the title of the most anti-environment House ever, today added another mark to the list — the Domestic Energy Production Act, H.R. 4480. The act is specifically designed to increase oil and gas development, with measures that block safeguards from smog and pollution and mandate drilling on public lands. The House Republicans passed this pollution and plunder energy package overrun by oil and gas industry interests, 248 to 163. This breakdown includes 229 Republicans and 19 Democratic members.  A ThinkProgress analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data shows how that oil and gas money overwhelmingly went to the votes for gutting safeguards from air pollution, drilling regulations and public lands protections

Read the whole story here:

Members Who Supported Massive Giveaway To Big Oil Have Received $38.6 Million From The Industry

Mountain West Strategies Launches New Website

Mountain West Strategies has launched a new website that will help keep partners, clients, and local communities informed on projects, activities, and news of interest.  The new site, which is hosted by Earthbound of Hotchkiss, Colorado is part of an overall expansion of the company’s online presence.


“Mountain West Strategies is a nuts and bolts, soup to nuts operation,” said Pete Kolbenschlag, company founder.  “Our mission is to get the job done–and we engage standard community organizing techniques along with new tools and technologies.


“From strategic research that looks at trends, patterns, and opportunities; to the detail work of implementing community-based on-the-ground action and response, Mountain West Strategies understands and knows how to connect with area communities and constituencies to  win on issues and campaigns in our region.”


The website will include fresh and updated content–in a ‘News and Features’ section, as well as with RSS and social media feeds.  A password protected section of the site will provide improved content sharing with clients and partners, and additional public content will be added over time, as well, as a resource for local citizens to better engage in local decisions and local politics.


“We’re excited to finally get our new website launched,” Kolbenschlag said.  “And we are glad to have it hosted locally.  Like the company itself, we want the site to be a resource for and supportive of our community, and of the communities and constituencies in the Mountain West that want to be more effective advocates.”


Mountain West Strategies helps stakeholders and local communities effectively exercise their civic rights and responsibilities–working with regional conservation and advocacy organizations and local communities to connect people to decision-makers as well as to the lands, resources and communities they seek to protect.


With a deep connection to the region, Mountain West Strategies combines local and state-level knowledge of the lands and resources, politics, and stakeholders with a strong understanding of regional, national and global conservation issues.


Mountain West Strategies was founded as a company with a commitment. In addition to being selective in the work we do, Mountain West Strategies contributes at least 5% of our net profits annually to local, state, national and global organizations that are working to protect the environment,  build community,  and support sustainable business and livelihoods.  Mountain West Strategies contributes to the Colorado Carbon Fund, to support clean energy development in the state and to help offset our share of carbon emissions.


Founder Pete Kolbenschlag has over 20 years experience crafting, running, and winning successful issue campaigns, including media relations, campaign development, grassroots response, event planning, and strategic research. » Support new wilderness in the Central Mountains of Colorado



Senator Udall and Representative Polis are both working to protect special public lands in Central Colorado with a Wilderness designation. Rep. Polis has introduced a bill and Sen. Udall is considering a bill.


The most important thing you can do to ensure these lands get the protection they deserve is to submit a comment on Sen. Udall’s website or write a letter to the editor.


What is Sen. Udall’s Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal?


U.S. Senator Mark Udall is proposing to protect nearly 240,000 acres in the Central Rockies of Colorado with wilderness and similar designations. These lands are some of Colorado’s most precious, ecologically important public lands.


Sen. Udall’s Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal, which he is discussing with mountain communities, is a bold vision that will add to our nation’s wilderness legacy and support Colorado’s recreation- and agriculture-based economies.


Sen. Udall’s wilderness proposal by the numbers:


  • 235,773 acres
  • 12 new stand alone areas and 17 additions to existing Wilderness Areas
  • Includes national forest and adjacent BLM lands
  • Spans three counties – Pitkin, Eagle and Summit.



Fuel Fix » House strips oil shale subsidy from spending bill

Fuel Fix » House strips oil shale subsidy from spending bill.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has approved a Colorado Democrat’s proposal to strip a $25 million oil shale subsidy from an appropriations bill. The Daily Sentinel reports the proposal by Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado and Gerry Connolly of Virginia narrowly passed in a 208-207 vote Wednesday [June 6].