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EPA releases draft climate change adaptation plans

Agency cites increases of extreme weather, drought and flooding in call for public comment

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A NASA map shows global temperature anomalies for Aug. 2013.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — At this point, most people know that global warming is already having tangible impacts on their day-to-day lives, from more intense heatwaves to destructive coastal flooding and longer wildfire seasons.

But it’s not always easy to figure what, if anything, can be done. To help communities in different parts of the country, the EPA is developing climate change adaptation implementation plans, with detailed information about the actions EPA plans to take across the country to help communities adapt to a changing climate. Continue reading

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EPA proposes cap on power plant carbon emissions

Common-sense standards easily met with current technology

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Global warming trends since 1950 are unmistakeable.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Dovetailing with the upcoming new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the EPA this week issues sweeping new rules that could help cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA proposed setting standards that would cap carbon pollution from new gas and coal-fired plants. At the same time, the agency is seeking stakeholder input to set carbon pollution standards for existing plants. Continue reading

Obama addresses domestic spying concerns

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President Barack Obama.

President pledges more transparency and reform of Patriot Act

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — President Obama tackled the domestic spying controversy head-on during an Aug. 9 press conference, saying he will push for increased transparency and reforms in U.S. intelligence programs.

Obama spelled out four specific steps aimed at addressing issues raised by critics in Congress and at rebuilding public confidence in the intelligence community.

Obama said he wants to reform the PATRIOT Act and push U.S. spy agencies to declassify more information about data-gathering programs.

He said the White House will also take input from outside groups in a review of intelligence and communications technologies. Continue reading

President Obama to designate new national monuments

GOP goes ballistic over use of Antiquities Act

Rio Grande with Ute Mountain © Adriel Heisey.

Rio Grande with Ute Mountain © Adriel Heisey.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — In the midst of ongoing partisan battles over the budget and public land policy gridlock, President Barack Obama this week plans to designate five new national monuments, including a big swath of land around the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico.

Conservation advocates welcomed the news, especially after a congressional session that yielded very little in the way of land conservation — the first Congress not to create any new wilderness in half a century. Continue reading

Election 2012: Summit County still a Democratic stronghold

President Barack Obama won nearly two-thirds of the votes in Summit County on his way to winning the presidency.

For the first time in many years, Summit will be represented by a Republican in the State Senate

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Summit County and Colorado voters Tuesday helped propel President Barack Obama to a second term in office in a race that wasn’t nearly as close as many pundits and GOP operatives wanted it to be.

Obama beat Romney by 5 percentage points statewide, piling up a margin of more than 100,000 votes and helping the president cruise to a big electoral college win and contributing to the president’s margin of about 2 million votes nationally.

In Summit County, candidate Mitt Romney shaved about 5 points of Obama’s 65 percent win in 2008, but the president still easily carried the county, as independents — about one third of the electorate — overwhelmingly voted for Obama.

  • Obama (D) – 9,169 (60.9 percent)
  • Romney (R) – 5,495 (36.5 percent)
  • Johnson (L) -   255 (1.6 percent) Continue reading

Election 2012: Obama wins

President Barack Obama.

Colorado stays blue; votes to approve marijuana

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — In a race that wasn’t nearly as close as Republican pundits wanted it to be, Barack Obama won a second term to the White House by hanging on to Ohio, a white, working-class state that was crucial to Mitt Romney’s hopes for pulling off a GOP upset.

Obama was also leading by a razor-thin margin in Florida when major networks called the presidential election for the Democrat from Illinois.

The Democrats won by maintaining their margin of victory in traditional strongholds in the Northeast, the Midwest and along the West Coast, with a wide swath in the middle of the country remaining red, showing the deep ideological gulf between coastal urban areas and the country’s heartland.

In Colorado, voters approved Amendment 64, which legalizes possession and use of marijuana. Gov. Hickenlooper said the state will respect the will of the voters.

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly,” he said in a press release.

Mitt Romney conceded the election at about 11 p.m.

“This is a time of great challenges for America, I hope the president will be successful in leading our nation,” Romney said, thanking his family and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

“At a time like this we can’t risk bickering and political posturing,” he continued, calling on both parties to work together to tackle critical issues.

 

Election 2012: Time to vote

Barack Obama likely to carry Summit County

If the 7-11 coffee poll is correct, Barack Obama will serve another four years.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Voting day dawned bright and clear in the high country; weather won’t be a factor in keeping anyone from the polls this year in Colorado, one of several key swing states that could determine the outcome of the 2012 presidential election. While Summit County has been solidly blue in recent elections, there are a number of populated Denver suburbs that will likely determine which way Colorado goes, and there’s a lot at stake for the state. Continue reading

Colorado conservation groups urge feds to continue with careful review of massive new Colorado River diversions

A Colorado River headwaters stream just below the Denver Water diversion point.

Letter to Corps of Engineers and EPA calls for careful scrutiny

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado water and environmental advocates say they’re concerned that fast-tracking the federal environmental review for the Moffat Collection System Expansion Project could lead the responsible agencies to leave out important information and not fully address the impacts of new water diversions from the Colorado River.

“We’re worried that that we’re going to hit fast forward and miss some things,” said Becky Long, water caucus coordinator with the Colorado Environmental Coalition, explaining why several groups recently wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA, reiterating their concerns about water temperatures and sediment loading in the Colorado River and its tributaries.

The fast-tracking was requested by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper back in June. In a June 5 letter to President Barack Obama, Hickenlooper touted a far-reaching water agreement as “removing” West Slope opposition to the Moffat project, and urged the Corps to release a final Environmental Impact Statement by the end of 2012, followed by a formal decision in early 2013. Continue reading

Global warming finally gets some attention in campaign

Obama calls climate change a “critical issue” in MTV interview; calls for more research to find energy breakthroughs

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —Climate change may not have been front and center during the three-round presidential debate series, but President Obama did address the issue Friday on MTV during a Q &A with host Sway Williams.

During the interview, Obama said climate is a critical issue and that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are the root cause.

“I am surprised it didn’t come up in one of the debates,” Obama said in response to a question from Williams. “Gov. Romney says he believes in climate change. That’s different than a lot of members of his own party that deny it completely. But he’s not sure that man-made causes are the reason. I believe scientists who say we are putting too much carbon emissions into the atmosphere and it’s heating the planet and it’s going to have a severe effect.

“After hearing from thousands of young voters, we were glad that President Obama finally broke the silence on climate change, which is one of the most important issues to young voters,” said Maura Cowley, director of Energy Action Coalition. “President Obama acknowledged that ‘we’re not moving fast enough to address the climate crisis,’ and we couldn’t agree more.

“The climate crisis is a top issue for the youth vote because we have the most to lose if we don’t address it, and want to see more investment in creating a clean energy economy,” Cowley said. Thousands of young voters are turning out to demand climate action this election—in fact more than 10,000 have joined the PowerVote campaign to demonstrate that climate is their top priority. This election, and the climate crisis, are about our future, and we’ll continue to demand leadership from candidates on this issue, up to and through Election Day.”

Continue reading

Polis, DeGette to speak at Democratic convention

Colorado once again a key swing state

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —During a convention that will probably spend a lot of time trying to solidify the diverse Democratic political base, will feature an early speech by Congressman Jared Polis making a plea for unity and inclusiveness — as well as a new Democratic majority in Congress.

“Diversity is part of America’s strength, but so is the fact that we are all, first and foremost, Americans who believe that if you play by the rules and work hard, you can get ahead and succeed,” said Polis, who represents Summit County citizens as part of his district.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette is also scheduled to speak.

“My message to the convention will be that we must heal divisions–not exploit them for political gain, and unite behind the common goal of strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and forging a better future for ourselves and our families.”

The Polis speech is set for Sept. 4 between 5:45 and 6:30 p.m.

In early proceedings the Hispanic caucus met Monday, with 800 delegates gathered, by some accounts the largest Latino presence at any convention.

A high turnout among Latino voters could be crucial in tipping a few swing states in Obama’s favor, including Colorado.

Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez said the caucus is focused on making that “no Latino stays home on Election Day.”

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