Current News

Bennet to introduce Senate version of Polis wilderness bill

The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Wednesday announced he’ll introduce a bill this session to protect more than 58,000 acres of public land in Eagle and Summit counties as wilderness.

Bennet made the announcement at a press event in Breckenridge attended by local politicians, area residents and business leaders. The Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act will be the Senate version of bill introduced earlier this in the House by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder.

Activists tweak message, timing in latest anti-fracking ballot fight

The Colorado Statesman

Activists will take another crack at passing the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, a proposed ballot initiative designed to give localities a veto over corporate activity, starting with the oil and gas industry.

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because a virtually identical measure, also sponsored by Coloradans for Community Rights, failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot last year. Even so, organizers say they are optimistic about their chances of bringing the measure before voters in November 2016.

Colorado Dems back mining reform, GOP focused on Good Samaritan law

The Colorado Statesman

Two weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency and contract workers accidentally released 3 million gallons of acid mine waste into the Animas River, federal lawmakers are gearing up for a deluge of debate over how best to solve the problem of thousands of abandoned mines leaching into watersheds all over the West.

Experts on mine waste cleanup efforts expect renewed interest in U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva’s Hardrock Mining Reform and Reclamation Act of 2015, introduced by the Arizona Democrat in January and languishing in committee since February.

Letter to the Editor

Letter: Natural gas plays central role in reducing CO2 emissions

An open letter to Dr. Larry Wolk of the Colorado Department of Health & Environment

Dear Dr. Wolk:

On August 3rd, President Obama and EPA announced the Clean Power Plan Rule. The rule requires the U.S. power sector to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 32 percent in 2030 from 2005 levels. The only mention of natural gas during the release of this plan established a disappointing false choice between clean-burning natural gas and renewables. However, we believe, and government data supports the fact, that natural gas has played and will continue to play a central role in reducing CO2 emissions quickly, cost-effectively, and safely.

Low-income housing efforts get boost, but demand remains high

The Colorado Statesman

More than $5 million in tax credits have been awarded in Colorado this year for the construction of special housing projects for the homeless and others in need.

Those incentives were among a larger pool of allocated tax credits aimed at increasing low-income housing availability in the state.

But officials tasked with creating more permanent housing opportunities for low-income residents acknowledge the state has a long way to go to meet a demand that is increasing in the face of skyrocketing rents across the state.

Columnist

Hudson: RBI honchos handicap presidential candidates

The Colorado Statesman

Rick Ridder and Joanie Braden, the venerable founders of Denver’s RBI political consulting firm, addressed the Downtown Democratic Forum breakfast last Friday. Asked to handicap the pending presidential campaign, Democrat Ridder brought his experience as Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign manager, and more than 40 years consulting with candidates and campaigns across the world, including a stint as president of the International Association of Political Consultants.

Conservative, free-market groups blast EPA air-quality regulations

The Colorado Statesman

With the Environmental Protection Agency already reeling from criticism over the Animas River spill, free-market groups are taking advantage of the agency's muddied reputation to blast its recent spate of air-quality regulations.

The Denver-based Independence Institute released a poll Monday showing that the majority of Colorado voters surveyed agree that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is more likely to hurt than help the state’s environment. The poll shows residents would oppose the plan if it results in higher electricity bills and believe Colorado already enjoys a clean environment.

'All eyes' on rising GOP star Brauchler as speculation swirls over his next move

The Colorado Statesman

PARKER — It seems everybody wants to talk about George Brauchler’s political future these days except George Brauchler.

As District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, Brauchler has deferred questions about his plans until after the final sentencing of Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, which starts Aug. 24. But that hasn’t slowed the speculation.

As he wrapped up his remarks at last weekend’s Coffee for Conservatives annual picnic, Brauchler, dressed casually in a T-shirt and baseball cap, was beset with shouts of “Governor!” Others yelled, “No, senator!”

Environmental groups target Latinos over climate change, EPA plan

The Colorado Statesman

Environmental groups are launching a pro-Clean Power Plan campaign aimed at Latinos, a group activists say are disproportionately affected by climate change.

Conservation Colorado has created a Latino organizing program called “Protégete: Our Air, Our Health.” Protégete, which translates to “protect yourself,” encourages greater Latino involvement in Colorado's role complying with the federal plan.

Guest Commentary

Noonan: GOP slowing Dem gains, but unaffiliated voters beat both

Guest Contributor

Colorado’s Republicans put the brakes on the state’s growing Democratic Party affiliation, gaining 789 more active voters than the Dems between July 2014 and July 2015. Democrats increased their active voter base by 16,217, while Republicans increased theirs by 17,006. The 789-voter difference isn’t a big number until compared with the 80,554 increase in voter registration Dems picked up between July 2012 and July 2013.