Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
An aerial view show a spreading network of drilling roads spreading on public lands in eastern Utah.
Lease practices, bonding requirements and royalty rates on the table in planned revision
FRISCO — The federal government wants to update rules governing oil and gas royalty rates and other financial aspects of oil and gas development on public lands.
In a rule-making notice to be published in the Federal Register this week, the Department of Interior said it will take public comment on rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances for oil and gas operations.
“It’s time to have a candid conversation about whether the American taxpayer is getting the right return for the development of oil and gas resources on public lands,” Interior Secretary Jewell, said in a statement. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, federal government, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Department of Interior, federal oil and gas royalty rates, oil and gas drilling. public lands, public lands lease rates, Sally Jewell | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
FORT scientist and Raven-A sUAS pilot Leanne Hanson launches the drone in the San Luis Valley as part of an effort to monitor sandhill cranes. USGS photo.
FAA taking public comment for 60 days
FRISCO — With everyone from ski movie makers to wedding photographers and wildlife biologists getting in on the drone craze, the airspace above the U.S. is getting even more crowded.
To help manage the boom in the use of unmanned aircraft systems, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have released a new set of draft rules open for public comment. At the same time, the White House released a presidential memorandum that addresses civil rights and privacy issues associated with drone operations. Continue reading
Filed under: Democracy, federal government | Tagged: drone regulations, drones, FAA UAS rules, unmanned aerial systems | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A chilling chapter in American history.
U.S. agents and contractors operated well outside the law, lied to Congress and the American people on torture of terror suspects
FRISCO — Top U.S. intelligence officials lied, mislead Congress and blocked oversight efforts as they sought to prevent American citizens from learning about how government agencies and private contractors detained and tortured terror suspects in the early 2000s.
“The release of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program is an historic victory for our nation, the Constitution, and our system of checks and balances,” said Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.). Continue reading
Filed under: federal government | Tagged: CIA torture report, enhanced detention and interrogation, Mark Udall, Senate Intelligence Committee CIA report, war on terror | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Uranium mining near the Grand Canyon? Say it ain’t so!
Industry groups once again appeal 20-year moratorium in court
FRISCO— Mining companies just won’t give up their dream of exploiting public lands around the Grand Canyon to profit from uranium mining.
Last week, the the National Mining Association and the American Exploration & Mining Association went back to court to try and overturn a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining that covers about 1 million acres in the region. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Environment, federal government, public lands, water quality | Tagged: Environment, Grand Canyon, public lands, uranium mining | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More public land fees ahead?
‘Stealth’ bill pending in House after passing committee without a hearing
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In a classic bit of stealth lawmaking, House Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) last month opened the door for more widespread recreation day use fees on federal lands.
Without a committee hearing, Hastings sent HR 5204 (The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2014) to the floor of the House, where it could, according to critics, become law without any public hearing at all as a rider to a budget bill. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, federal government, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Congress, Doc Hastings, national forests, pay-to-play, public lands, recreation fees | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Obama administration has yet to authorize release of a congressional report on ‘wrongheaded’ and ‘misguided’ detention and interrogation program
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — There’s little doubt that the detention and interrogation program used in the war on terror violates international law. And with the Obama administration still refusing to come clean, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) pressed for a full and transparent accounting of the program during a confirmation hearing for CIA General Counsel nominee Caroline Diane Krass.
Udall said that, before he can support her nomination, he needs additional information and assurances relating to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s landmark study on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Udall has been a leading voice in Congress for the White House and CIA to come clean about the agency’s deeply flawed detention and interrogation program. Continue reading
Filed under: federal government | Tagged: Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, enhanced interrogation, Leon Panetta, Mark Udall, torture | 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 »