Posted on July 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado business community weighs in on water principles
FRISCO — Vail and Eagle County residents will have a chance to get up to speed on an emerging state water plan today (July 10), with a lunchtime briefing at Donovan Pavilion in Vail, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered work to begin on the statewide water plan in May 2013; a draft is due to the Governor’s Office no later than Dec. 10, 2014, with the final plan complete by December 2015.
Business leaders have developed statewide business community water policy principles to be part of Colorado’s Water Plan and are seeking regional input to finalize the principles. Working through local business chambers, this statewide initiative seeks local feedback on the principles, which address the business and economic development needs of Colorado.
- Tom Binnings of Summit Economics will discuss the economics of water from a statewide perspective.
- Linn Brooks of Eagle River Water & Sanitation District will share local water operations and policy, and discuss needs in the Eagle and Colorado River basins.
- James Eklund, executive director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board – the state agency tasked with drafting the Colorado Water Plan.
- Bryan Blakely of Accelerate Colorado and Mizraim Cordero of the Colorado Competitive Council will discuss the business community water policy principles.
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado River, Environment, politics, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado River, Eagle River, state water plan, Vail, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 6, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Boulder County gets high-level backup on request for comment period extension on major new transmountain water diversion
Will the public get more time to review and comment on the final environmental study for the largest proposed water project in years?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Boulder County’s request for more time to comment on the proposed Moffat Tunnel Collection System expansion got some high-level backup this week, as Sen. Michael Bennet formally asked the federal government for an extension.
Denver Water’s proposed new diversions from Colorado River headwaters in Grand County, specifically the Fraser River, are under federal scrutiny as the Corps considers issuing a permit for the enlargement of Gross Reservoir in Boulder County. The federal agency released the final version of a massive environmental study in April, setting a June 9 deadline for comment.
The agency received about 400 requests for an extension, many of them via a form letter. Boulder County also requested an extension, citing the need for more time to read the detailed technical reports and other documents that are part of the study, but regional Corps of Engineer Commander Joel Cross decided not to provide more time. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado River, Environment, politics, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Denver Water, Environment, Moffat Tunnel collection system expansion, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Budget woes still hindering forest restoration efforts
Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs (standing) speaks with Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, at a recent meeting in Frisco, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The Colorado high country may be buried in snow right now, but lawmakers and fire experts are already brainstorming about the upcoming wildfire season.
As part of that process, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) met with local officials in Summit County recently to get feedback on recent successes and remaining challenges in forest management and wildfire mitigation policies and actions.
“It’s not a question of if we’re going to have more megafires, but when,” Udall said, without ever mentioning global warming as a key factor in the wildfire equation. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, Forest health, forests, politics, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado, Environment, Forest health, forests, logging, Mark Udall | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘We have now seen that secret, domestic surveillance programs at the National Security Agency have crossed the line’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Along with colleagues from Wisconsin and Oregon, Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is leading a new effort to curb overly eager spy agencies from invading the privacy and abusing the civil liberties of people who have absolutely no connection with terrorism.
Udall and U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Freedoms and Privacy Act of 2013, legislation that strengthens transparency, oversight and accountability on National Security Agency domestic surveillance.
“Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we learned about the importance of sharing information about international terrorism between intelligence agencies and law enforcement,” Udall said. “But we need to ensure that any personal information collected on innocent Americans with no connection to terrorism or espionage is shared appropriately with law enforcement entities. We need strong, appropriate privacy protections,” he said. Continue reading
Filed under: federal government, politics | Tagged: domestic surveillance, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, National Security Agency, NSA, Patriot Act | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Water pours down the Blue River in the high runoff of July 2011. Bob Berwyn photo.
Governor says state must figure out a way to address impending shortages
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado water experts will try to figure out how to manage the state’s most precious resource in an era when all signs points to increasing shortages and the potential for growing conflicts within the state and the region over its allocation.
Under an executive order issued this week by Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Colorado Water Conservation Board will lead the effort to address the growing gap between supply and demand. Especially worrisome is the gap in the South Platte Basin, the state’s most populous and at the same time, the most productive agricultural basin.
Hickenlooper acknowledged that the recurring drought could hasten the impacts of the gap between supply and demand, noting that the past two decades have been Colorado’s warmest on record, dating back to the 1890s. Read the order here. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Drought, economy, Environment, politics, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Water Conservation Board, drought, John Hickenlooper, Russ George, water, water conservation | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado lawmaker says bill was too broad, bu supports expanded background checks and limits on high-capacity ammo clips
Sen. Mark Udall says Coloradans are entitled under the Second Amendment to own weapons that can be used to commit mass murders.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO— Facing reelection next year, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) this week voted against a proposed ban on assault weapons, saying the measure was too broad for his gun-toting Colorado constituents.
Udall did support a background check bill, which failed when four Democratic senators, all up for reelection next year, voted against it. According to many polls, more than 90 percent of Americans support stronger background checks.
Udall dusted off the Second Amendment and said, “Coloradans, including sportsmen, hunters and responsible gun owners, agree that we need to keep dangerous military-style weapons off of our streets and out of places like our schools and movie theaters. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, politics | Tagged: assault weapons ban, gun violence, Mark Udall, school shootings, Second Amendment, U.S. Senate | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A view of the Roan Plateau from a NASA satellite.
BLM starts new environmental study for drilling leases in sensitive wildlife area
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — With comments coming in on a revised BLM study for fossil fuel development on Colorado’s Roan Plateau, it’s clear that there’s little common ground between the energy industry and conservation groups.
Hunters, anglers and environmentalists want the federal agency to set strict protections for natural resources, while oil and gas companies say the government needs to get on with opening the area for drilling as required under federal law.
A federal court last year ruled that the 2008 drilling plan didn’t consider conservation-oriented options, and that it didn’t adequately analyze the cumulative air quality impacts of oil and gas drilling. The BLM has acknowledged that developing up to 1,500 wells on the Roan Plateau would permanently alter some areas of high quality fish and wildlife habitat.
Meanwhile, fossil fuel stakeholders, represented by the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association also submitted comments, explaining that federal law requires the Roan Plateau to be leased and calling on the BLM to make only the specific supplemental analysis required by the court. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, politics | Tagged: BLM, energy, Environment, oil and gas, public lands, Roan Plateau | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A bill to repeal the death penalty in Colorado is pending in the State Legislature.
State following national trend
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Following in the footsteps of at least a half-dozen other states, Colorado lawmakers this week will start considering a bill that would repeal the death penalty.
The measure was introduced in the Colorado Legislature this week, and got some immediate support from a group of 30 family members of Colorado murder victims, including Robert Autobee, whose son Eric was a prison guard and killed by an inmate. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Crime, politics | Tagged: Capital punishment, Claire Levy, Colorado, crime, death penalty, death penalty repeal, Law | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
SkyTruth created this map with 2008 data, showing the general location of oil and gas drilling activities in Colorado.
Town seeks to protect health and well-being of residents; critics say local bans violate state law
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Creating yet another headache for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s pro-fracking administration, Fort Collins this week voted to ban oil and gas exploration — including hydraulic fracturing — within city limits.
The 5-2 city council vote came after a several hours of citizen testimony, with a large majority of residents apparently in favor of a drilling ban. To become final, the ordinance must be passed by another vote in a few weeks.
Arguments over the ban remain the same. Supporters of the ban say the industrial processes associated with fossil fuel development don’t belong anywhere near residential areas, and the chemicals and air pollution associated with drilling pose a significant health risk. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, politics | Tagged: Clean Water Action, Colorado, Colorado Oil and Gas Association, energy, Environment, Fort Collins, fossil fuels, fracking, fracking ban, John Hickenlooper | 4 Comments »