<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:03:18 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[CU professor claims 'witch hunt' over global warming testimony]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/cu-professor-claims-witch-hunt-over-global-warming-testimony/article/1546993?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/cu-professor-claims-witch-hunt-over-global-warming-testimony/article/1546993?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A University of Colorado environmental studies professor says he is the target of a congressman's "witch hunt" because he expressed doubt in congressional testimony about whether climate change is making natural disasters worse.

Roger Pielke Jr. made his comment this week after Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., asked whether he had any undisclosed funding from fossil fuel companies.

In a letter dated Tuesday, Grijalva, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, asked the University of Colorado for a list of Pielke's external funding sources. Grijalva cited Pielke's testimony before a U.S. Senate panel in 2013 in which Pielke said it was wrong to blame greenhouse gases for worsening disasters.



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DENVER — A University of Colorado environmental studies professor says he is the target of a congressman's "witch hunt" because he expressed doubt in congressional testimony about whether climate change is making natural disasters worse.

Roger Pielke Jr. made his comment this week after Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., asked whether he had any undisclosed funding from fossil fuel companies.

In a letter dated Tuesday, Grijalva, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, asked the University of Colorado for a list of Pielke's external funding sources. Grijalva cited Pielke's testimony before a U.S. Senate panel in 2013 in which Pielke said it was wrong to blame greenhouse gases for worsening disasters.

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Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:13:39 -0700
<![CDATA[Governor: Oil, gas rules must protect mineral owners' rights]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/governor-oil-gas-rules-must-protect-mineral-owners-rights/article/1547067?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/governor-oil-gas-rules-must-protect-mineral-owners-rights/article/1547067?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Any attempt to give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling in Colorado must protect the rights of people who own underground mineral rights, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

Some people have owned or leased those rights for decades, long before Colorado's growing cities spread onto land above rich oil and gas deposits, Hickenlooper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"What right does government have to take that person's lease away from them?" he said. "Through no fault of their own, the march of suburbanization, suddenly their lease is worth less than it was."

Surface owners' property rights should also be protected, Hickenlooper said, adding that energy companies are



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DENVER — Any attempt to give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling in Colorado must protect the rights of people who own underground mineral rights, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

Some people have owned or leased those rights for decades, long before Colorado's growing cities spread onto land above rich oil and gas deposits, Hickenlooper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"What right does government have to take that person's lease away from them?" he said. "Through no fault of their own, the march of suburbanization, suddenly their lease is worth less than it was."

Surface owners' property rights should also be protected, Hickenlooper said, adding that energy companies are

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Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:09:08 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado House rejects drill-limit penalties]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-house-rejects-drill-limit-penalties/article/1546881?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-house-rejects-drill-limit-penalties/article/1546881?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Democrats in the Colorado House have rejected a proposal to penalize communities that ban the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The vote Wednesday comes as the GOP Senate voted recently in favor of a similar proposal.

The votes show that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature remain far apart when it comes to local communities limiting or banning fracking.

Lawmakers from both parties are staking out positions in advance of a Friday report from a task force reviewing Colorado's oil and gas regulations.

The task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.



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DENVER — Democrats in the Colorado House have rejected a proposal to penalize communities that ban the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The vote Wednesday comes as the GOP Senate voted recently in favor of a similar proposal.

The votes show that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature remain far apart when it comes to local communities limiting or banning fracking.

Lawmakers from both parties are staking out positions in advance of a Friday report from a task force reviewing Colorado's oil and gas regulations.

The task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.

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Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:34:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Oil-gas panel suggests consulting role for local government]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/oil-gas-panel-suggests-consulting-role-for-local-government/article/1546840?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/oil-gas-panel-suggests-consulting-role-for-local-government/article/1546840?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A state task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.

But the panel decided against recommending that cities and counties be allowed to enforce their own rules on the industry.

In its final meeting Tuesday, the task force also rejected proposals to require disclosure of all the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

The 21-member panel will submit its final list of recommendations to Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday

The recommendations also include expanding the staffs of the two state agencies that regulate oil and gas and monitor public health.



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DENVER — A state task force will recommend that local governments be given a consulting role on some decisions about the location of large oil and gas facilities.

But the panel decided against recommending that cities and counties be allowed to enforce their own rules on the industry.

In its final meeting Tuesday, the task force also rejected proposals to require disclosure of all the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

The 21-member panel will submit its final list of recommendations to Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday

The recommendations also include expanding the staffs of the two state agencies that regulate oil and gas and monitor public health.

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Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:43:26 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado fracking opponents plan drive to put ban on ballot]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-fracking-opponents-plan-drive-to-put-ban-on-ballot/article/1546834?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-fracking-opponents-plan-drive-to-put-ban-on-ballot/article/1546834?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Activists said Tuesday they would try to put a measure on the 2016 ballot to ban hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, just as a task force was trying to finish up recommendations that were supposed to help settle disputes over oil and gas development.

The newly formed Coloradans Against Fracking announced the campaign outside a room where the task force was working through the final versions of its suggestions.

The group could begin voting on its final recommendations as early as Tuesday afternoon. Its final report is due to Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday.

Hickenlooper set up the task force in August in a deal that kept four divisive measures off the November ballot. Two would have restricted drilling,



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DENVER — Activists said Tuesday they would try to put a measure on the 2016 ballot to ban hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, just as a task force was trying to finish up recommendations that were supposed to help settle disputes over oil and gas development.

The newly formed Coloradans Against Fracking announced the campaign outside a room where the task force was working through the final versions of its suggestions.

The group could begin voting on its final recommendations as early as Tuesday afternoon. Its final report is due to Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday.

Hickenlooper set up the task force in August in a deal that kept four divisive measures off the November ballot. Two would have restricted drilling,

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Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:27:03 -0700
<![CDATA[Filthy India air cutting 660 million lives short by 3 years]]> http://gazette.com/filthy-india-air-cutting-660-million-lives-short-by-3-years/article/feed/206979?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/filthy-india-air-cutting-660-million-lives-short-by-3-years/article/feed/206979?custom_click=rss

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's filthy air is cutting 660 million lives short by about three years, according to research published Saturday that underlines the hidden costs of the country's heavy reliance on fossil fuels to power its economic growth with little regard for the environment.

While New Delhi last year earned the dubious title of being the world's most polluted city, India's air pollution problem is extensive, with 13 Indian cities now on the World Health Organization's list of the 20 most polluted.

That nationwide pollution burden is estimated to be costing more than half of India's population at least 3.

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]]> NEW DELHI (AP) — India's filthy air is cutting 660 million lives short by about three years, according to research published Saturday that underlines the hidden costs of the country's heavy reliance on fossil fuels to power its economic growth with little regard for the environment.

While New Delhi last year earned the dubious title of being the world's most polluted city, India's air pollution problem is extensive, with 13 Indian cities now on the World Health Organization's list of the 20 most polluted.

That nationwide pollution burden is estimated to be costing more than half of India's population at least 3.]]> Sat, 21 Feb 2015 07:16:43 -0700 <![CDATA[Obama's plan to make Browns Canyon a national monument gets cheers, criticism in Colorado]]> By lance benzel lance.benzel@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/obamas-plan-to-make-browns-canyon-a-national-monument-gets-cheers-criticism-in-colorado/article/1546559?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/obamas-plan-to-make-browns-canyon-a-national-monument-gets-cheers-criticism-in-colorado/article/1546559?custom_click=rss

Steeped in division for decades, the scenic Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River is once again troubling political waters.

The latest provocation: News that President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to designate the more than 20,000-acre area as a national monument, adding a new layer of federal protection while essentially sidestepping years of gridlock.

Located between Buena Vista and Salida, Browns Canyon is home to a variety of wildlife and is perhaps best known as a popular rafting spot.

While conservationists, anglers and commercial river rafters roundly applauded the expected action in a flurry of statements issued on Wednesday, the news brought a fiery reaction from Colorado's Republican



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Steeped in division for decades, the scenic Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River is once again troubling political waters.

The latest provocation: News that President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to designate the more than 20,000-acre area as a national monument, adding a new layer of federal protection while essentially sidestepping years of gridlock.

Located between Buena Vista and Salida, Browns Canyon is home to a variety of wildlife and is perhaps best known as a popular rafting spot.

While conservationists, anglers and commercial river rafters roundly applauded the expected action in a flurry of statements issued on Wednesday, the news brought a fiery reaction from Colorado's Republican

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Wed, 18 Feb 2015 22:44:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado mountain snow is bright spot during drought in West]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-mountain-snow-is-bright-spot-during-drought-in-west/article/1546513?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-mountain-snow-is-bright-spot-during-drought-in-west/article/1546513?custom_click=rss DENVER — Snowpack in the mountain valleys where the Colorado River originates is only a little below normal, marking one of the few bright spots in an increasingly grim drought gripping much of the West.

Measurement stations in western Colorado showed the snowpack on Wednesday at 90 percent of the long-term average.

By contrast, many stations in the mountains of California, Oregon and Washington have shown snowpack at 50 percent or less. Some detected no snow at all.

Mountain snow in Colorado is closely monitored because a half-dozen Western waterways, including the 1,400-mile Colorado River, start in the area.

The Colorado River and its tributaries supply water to millions of people in seven states and



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DENVER — Snowpack in the mountain valleys where the Colorado River originates is only a little below normal, marking one of the few bright spots in an increasingly grim drought gripping much of the West.

Measurement stations in western Colorado showed the snowpack on Wednesday at 90 percent of the long-term average.

By contrast, many stations in the mountains of California, Oregon and Washington have shown snowpack at 50 percent or less. Some detected no snow at all.

Mountain snow in Colorado is closely monitored because a half-dozen Western waterways, including the 1,400-mile Colorado River, start in the area.

The Colorado River and its tributaries supply water to millions of people in seven states and

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Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:53:07 -0700
<![CDATA[Cripple Creek mine operators probe again for gold underground]]> BY RYAN MAYE HANDY ryanmaye.handy@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/cripple-creek-mine-operators-probe-again-for-gold-underground/article/1546464?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/cripple-creek-mine-operators-probe-again-for-gold-underground/article/1546464?custom_click=rss

For the first time in more than two decades, the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company is looking for gold underground, a tentative departure from its open-pit mining operation.

Mine operators are probing an area north and east of the town of Cripple Creek to see if it could be profitable as an underground gold mine, said Jane Mannon, the company's community affairs manager. Even if the area is found to be viable, the underground mine will be years in the making.

"We're optimistic, but it is early in the process," Mannon said Tuesday. "Everything is speculation right now."

The company runs the state's largest gold mine, a descendant of mines from gold-fever days more than a century ago that brought thousands of

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]]> For the first time in more than two decades, the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company is looking for gold underground, a tentative departure from its open-pit mining operation.

Mine operators are probing an area north and east of the town of Cripple Creek to see if it could be profitable as an underground gold mine, said Jane Mannon, the company's community affairs manager. Even if the area is found to be viable, the underground mine will be years in the making.

"We're optimistic, but it is early in the process," Mannon said Tuesday. "Everything is speculation right now."

The company runs the state's largest gold mine, a descendant of mines from gold-fever days more than a century ago that brought thousands of]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 04:10:17 -0700 <![CDATA[Colorado rejects limit on open-space land seizures]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-rejects-limit-on-open-space-land-seizures/article/1546465?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-rejects-limit-on-open-space-land-seizures/article/1546465?custom_click=rss DENVER — A bipartisan group of Colorado senators rejected a proposal Tuesday to limit government seizures of private land for open space.

The bill would have prevented counties from using eminent-domain laws to seize private land for open space, parks, conservation or preservation of views.

The measure was inspired by a Summit County family that sold a 10-acre parcel on an old mining claim last year after a long court battle with the county. The county used eminent domain to acquire the parcel.

"Personal property rights are so ingrained in this country that we should never be taking land for open space," said the sponsor of the measure, Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa.

A Democrat who voted against the



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DENVER — A bipartisan group of Colorado senators rejected a proposal Tuesday to limit government seizures of private land for open space.

The bill would have prevented counties from using eminent-domain laws to seize private land for open space, parks, conservation or preservation of views.

The measure was inspired by a Summit County family that sold a 10-acre parcel on an old mining claim last year after a long court battle with the county. The county used eminent domain to acquire the parcel.

"Personal property rights are so ingrained in this country that we should never be taking land for open space," said the sponsor of the measure, Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa.

A Democrat who voted against the

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Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:43:13 -0700
<![CDATA[State to tighten oil, gas rules after spills in 2013 flood]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/state-to-tighten-oil-gas-rules-after-spills-in-2013-flood/article/1546316?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/state-to-tighten-oil-gas-rules-after-spills-in-2013-flood/article/1546316?custom_click=rss DENVER — State regulators are preparing to impose new rules to keep oil and gas wells more secure after spills blamed on the catastrophic Colorado flood of 2013.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission released proposed rules Thursday, including a requirement that all new wells located within a 100-year flood plain be equipped with technology allowing them to be shut down remotely.

A public meeting on the regulations is set for Tuesday, and the commission is expected to vote on them March 2.



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DENVER — State regulators are preparing to impose new rules to keep oil and gas wells more secure after spills blamed on the catastrophic Colorado flood of 2013.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission released proposed rules Thursday, including a requirement that all new wells located within a 100-year flood plain be equipped with technology allowing them to be shut down remotely.

A public meeting on the regulations is set for Tuesday, and the commission is expected to vote on them March 2.

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Fri, 13 Feb 2015 19:08:21 -0700
<![CDATA[Senate weighs payments to mineral owners over fracking rules]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/senate-weighs-payments-to-mineral-owners-over-fracking-rules/article/1546253?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/senate-weighs-payments-to-mineral-owners-over-fracking-rules/article/1546253?custom_click=rss DENVER — Mineral owners would get compensation from local governments that restrict fracking under a Republican bill advanced by the Colorado Senate Thursday.

The question pits homeowners concerned over industrial activity in residential areas and mineral owners who want to develop their property. Sometimes the matter is further complicated in Colorado by the fact that minerals belonging to one person are underneath a house owned by someone else.

The sponsor of the compensation bill, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, said his goal is to protect property rights when a local government implements restrictions on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. It involves extracting oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure



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DENVER — Mineral owners would get compensation from local governments that restrict fracking under a Republican bill advanced by the Colorado Senate Thursday.

The question pits homeowners concerned over industrial activity in residential areas and mineral owners who want to develop their property. Sometimes the matter is further complicated in Colorado by the fact that minerals belonging to one person are underneath a house owned by someone else.

The sponsor of the compensation bill, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, said his goal is to protect property rights when a local government implements restrictions on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. It involves extracting oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure

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Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:47:01 -0700
<![CDATA[Is El Paso County destined for another drought after warm winter days?]]> BY RYAN MAYE HANDY ryanmaye.handy@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/is-el-paso-county-destined-for-another-drought-after-warm-winter-days/article/1546067?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/is-el-paso-county-destined-for-another-drought-after-warm-winter-days/article/1546067?custom_click=rss

The year has kicked off with unseasonably high temperatures in El Paso County, and area firefighters already have battled three grass fires.

But those factors do not mean the region is in for a dry summer and a bad fire season.

T-shirt weather in the middle of winter and three recent fires would not seem to be a good start to 2015, given the record-breaking heat and drought conditions in 2012 and 2013 - two years of disastrous wildfires.

"We definitely have been warmer compared to normal," said Stephen Hodanish, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The daily low temperature has been about 8 degrees above normal in February, he said.



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The year has kicked off with unseasonably high temperatures in El Paso County, and area firefighters already have battled three grass fires.

But those factors do not mean the region is in for a dry summer and a bad fire season.

T-shirt weather in the middle of winter and three recent fires would not seem to be a good start to 2015, given the record-breaking heat and drought conditions in 2012 and 2013 - two years of disastrous wildfires.

"We definitely have been warmer compared to normal," said Stephen Hodanish, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The daily low temperature has been about 8 degrees above normal in February, he said.

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Tue, 10 Feb 2015 05:46:20 -0700
<![CDATA[Regulators issue final volumes in Nevada nuclear dump report]]> http://gazette.com/regulators-issue-final-volumes-in-nevada-nuclear-dump-report/article/feed/200355?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/regulators-issue-final-volumes-in-nevada-nuclear-dump-report/article/feed/200355?custom_click=rss LAS VEGAS (AP) — Findings released Thursday by analysts in the federal agency with the power to give the go-ahead for a proposed national nuclear waste dump in Nevada appear to provide wiggle room for adopting rules to open the repository, if decision-makers want to go forward.

"Conditions (to open the repository) could be included," Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff said, "if there is a commission decision to authorize construction."

But the federal Department of Energy still needs to acquire crucial land and water rights, it said.

Opponents and proponents of the Yucca Mountain project each found support for their positions in the release of the final two volumes of a five-volume report by commission staff.

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]]> LAS VEGAS (AP) — Findings released Thursday by analysts in the federal agency with the power to give the go-ahead for a proposed national nuclear waste dump in Nevada appear to provide wiggle room for adopting rules to open the repository, if decision-makers want to go forward.

"Conditions (to open the repository) could be included," Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff said, "if there is a commission decision to authorize construction."

But the federal Department of Energy still needs to acquire crucial land and water rights, it said.

Opponents and proponents of the Yucca Mountain project each found support for their positions in the release of the final two volumes of a five-volume report by commission staff.]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:32:53 -0700