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Colorado: Big conservation groups announce merger

New organization will maintain West Slope presence.

Colorado Conservation Voters and the Colorado Environmental Coalition join forces to meet new challenges

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY —In the second major merger of Colorado-based conservation groups, Colorado Conservation Voters and the Colorado Environmental Coalition this week announced that they will join together to form a new group called Conservation Colorado.

Last year, the Center for Native Ecosystems merged with Colorado Wild to form Rocky Mountain Wild. That merger resulted in several layoffs, including longtime national forest policy experts like Rocky Smith, leaving a big void in the conservation scene.

The latest merger has also resulted in some downsizing, partly through attrition and also through some layoffs on the administrative side of the operation, according to spokesman Chris Arend.

“Part of the benefit of the merger is that you create efficiencies,” Arend said, adding that there will be some “refocusing,” but that the new group has pledged to maintain a Western Slope presence to continue advocacy for the protection of wild lands. Continue reading

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Gas-drilling greenwash in Colorado?

With oil and gas rigs sprouting across Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper downplays concerns about water contamination, while conservation groups say there is still much to be done to minimize environmental impacts.

Conservation groups challenge Gov. Hickenlooper’s claim that there has been no groundwater contamination from drilling or fracking operations since 2008

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — All things related to oil and gas drilling in Colorado seem to be complicated, and the latest flap over a public service announcement by Gov. John Hickenlooper is no exception.

In the ad, posted on the Colorado Oil & Gas Association website, Hickenlooper makes a flat-out claim that there hasn’t been any groundwater contamination associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing since 2008. You can listen to Hickenlooper’s message here.

The message touted Colorado’s new oil and gas drilling regulations which are intended to protect the environment as well as to give industry regulatory certainty. The context of the message was to advertise Colorado as open for the oil and gas business business, but the problem is that Hickenlooper’s statement is not completely accurate or truthful. Continue reading

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