Pushing a National Clean Energy Agenda

Posted: 27th June 2012

Fed up with the undue influence of the energy companies, utilities, lobbyists and other interests that are making it impossible for Washington to move forward decisively in achieving America’s clean energy future, Western Colorado Congress and 35 other citizen organizations (with more than 1.1 million combined members) are joining forces to advance a nine-point “American Clean Energy Agenda”.  The groups are pushing for a serious renewable energy agenda no matter who is the next President or which party controls Congress.

The new American Clean Energy Agenda calls for a number of bold steps, including:
  • phasing out nuclear power, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass in favor of efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources;
  • opposing a “clean energy standard” that includes coal, nuclear, oil, gas and unsustainable biomass;
  • retooling federal “loan guarantees” to make smarter investments in renewable energy; 
  • giving greater emphasis to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs; and
  • avoiding a future in which Americans suffer the consequences of mountaintop mining for coal and fracking of shale gas that is then exported for use in other nations.
WCC President Gretchen Nicholoff said,  “We’re optimistic about Colorado’s ability to transition smoothly further toward a clean, renewable energy future.  Our state could even serve as a national leader, if decision-makers listen to citizens, not oil & gas or coal industries.”

Organized by the nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the emergence of the new network of citizen-run organizations reflects a deep dissatisfaction among Americans about the iron grip maintained by the energy industry and its lobbyists in promoting the non-solution of an “all of the above” approach to energy that would preserve the worst options and dilute the focus on real solutions.

How do the three dozen groups know they reflect the thinking of the vast majority of Americans?  On April 25, 2012, the Civil Society Institute released a national opinion poll conducted by ORC International found that:
  • More than three out of four Americans (77 percent) – including 70 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Independents, and 85 percent of Democrats — believe that “the energy industry’s extensive and well-financed public relations, campaign contributions and lobbying machine is a major barrier to moving beyond business as usual when it comes to America’s energy policy.”
  • More than eight out of 10 Americans (83 percent) – including 69 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Independents, and 95 percent of Democrats — agree with the following statement: “The time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to realize a renewable energy future.  Congress is debating large public investments in energy and we need to take action to ensure that our taxpayer dollars support renewable energy- one that protects public health, promotes energy independence and the economic well being of all Americans.”
CSI President Pam Solo said:  “It is time for the communities who are suffering the ill effects of fracking, mountaintop mining, and other forms of wasteful and dangerous energy production to have a say in moving America to a clean energy future.  The political power of the energy industry has deferred a clean energy agenda at the expense of the health and safety of too many communities in the country.”

“To those who will say that these groups do not have a place at the policy-making table,” Solo continued, “we say this:   These are exactly the people who need to be heard.  The harms caused by continued reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power may not be felt in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, but they are experienced in the heartland of this nation.  We do not have the money, the water or the time to waste delaying and deferring serious solutions to these hidden costs of relying on an old energy path.  This agenda puts the burden of proof on those who claim that coal can be clean, fracking natural gas is not harmful, and nuclear power is safe.  It is time for reason and precaution over politics.  The health of Americans and our environment can no longer be made a secondary priority behind energy development at any price.”

Heather White, chief of staff, Environmental Working Group, said:  “Whether it be oil and shale gas drilling, coal mining or nuclear energy, this coalition of grassroots experts have witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts of mountaintop mining removal, fracking for natural gas, uranium mining and nuclear waste. We’ve banded together to take back our clean energy future from the seemingly all-powerful big oil, natural gas and energy companies that continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep us trapped in a dirty energy economy.  As this research shows, the vast majority of Americans agree that we need clean, renewable energy, and don’t want big subsidies flowing to oil and nuclear companies.  They want us to invest in energy efficiency, renewable and technology to ensure an economically viable and livable economy. We must make a clear choice that will put the nation on the right track to clean energy future.”
 
As signed by the supporting citizen organizations, the American Clean Energy Agenda statement reads, in part as follows: “The time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to bring about a renewable energy future. As Congress debates major new public investments in energy, we need to ensure that our taxpayer dollars support an energy system that protects public health, promotes energy independence and ensures the economic well being of all Americans.
 
“The precautionary principle must be the lodestar for the effort to create a new energy future for America that goes “beyond business as usual.” In the energy sphere, the core of the precautionary principle is to prevent degradation of the environment, protect public health, preserve access to clean water, sustain the electric grid and combat global climate change, all while laying the basis for an adequate standard of living for today’s populations and future generations .
 
“We, the undersigned, agree to this fundamental principle and further commit to work toward a truly renewable, sustainable energy standard that built on the following shared premises:
  1. We must generate the political will to create a sustainable healthy energy future by 2030 by accelerating the phase-out of nuclear power, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass and driving a grand transition to efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources.
  2. Achieving a sustainable energy future hinges on grassroots organizing to mobilize and educate the public and to demand support from our community, business, and political leaders.
  3. The entrenched dirty energy industry’s public relations machine and lobbyists block the path to healthy energy options and sources. We will expose their misleading tactics and promote a truly healthy and renewable energy system.
  4. The renewable energy standard is a proven model for a sustainable future, and our goal is to see it implemented on a national basis – as it already is in many states and other nations. We oppose the so-called “clean energy standard” as a dishonest political ploy designed to protect polluting energy industries – coal, nuclear, oil, gas and unsustainable biomass – that have brought us to the crisis we are in today.
  5. We urge our local, state and federal authorities with jurisdiction over energy generation, power distribution and rate-setting to ensure a level playing field for renewable energy and efficiency. It is essential to take fully into account the long-term risks and costs to health, environment and communities of all energy resources, and to adopt policies based on least cost to consumers and minimal risk. We urge specific policies that will ensure this full reckoning as well as strong energy efficiency standards that minimize the demand for resources and provide good jobs and clear benefits to consumers.
  6. We hold that the overall use of taxpayer dollars for energy projects – whether called “subsidies,” “tax incentives” or “loan guarantees” – currently runs counter to the public interest. Government incentives must benefit public health, economic well-being and the environment. We will develop clear guidelines to direct smarter public investment in energy.
  7. We will educate our fellow citizens about the negative impacts of water-intensive energy choices on human and environmental health. Families and communities deserve clean air, access to clean water, safe, sustainable food and good health.
  8. We will demonstrate that renewable energy and energy efficiency programs can be flexibly configured and adapted across the country to accommodate regional differences in energy portfolios.
  9. Exporting dirty energy harms public health and contaminates our water, with the result that Americans pay the environmental and health price of meeting the energy needs of other countries while gaining nothing in the way of energy independence. Exporting coal extracted by mountaintop removal and shale gas obtained by fracking are especially egregious examples. Forcing US industries to compete with other nations for domestic supplies is likely to drive up prices dramatically and may cause them to relocate overseas.”
The other 35 organizations joining together to support the agenda are:  Appalachian Citizens Law Center; Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Christians for the Mountains; Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana; Citizens’ Greener Evanston; Civil Society Institute; Clean Air Council; Coal River Mountain Watch; Community Environmental Defense Council; Dakota Resource Council; Environmental Advocates of New York; Environmental Working Group; GRACE Communications Foundation;  Healthy Planet; Kentuckian Coalition; Long Island Progressive Coalition; Northern Plains Resource Council;  Nuclear Information and Resource Service; Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; Oregon Rural Action; Otsego 2000; Partnership for Policy Integrity; Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Sustainable and Healthy Energy; Powder River Basin Resource Council; Renewable Energy Long Island;  Responsible Drilling Alliance; Shut Down Indian Point Now; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment; VT Citizens Action Network; West Michigan Jobs Group; Western Organization of Resource Councils; and Women’s Energy Matters.

Judge Yanks Uranium Mill Permit

Posted: 18th June 2012

by Janet Johnson, Grand Junction
Map by Rocky Mountain Wild.

A Denver District Court invalidated the radioactive materials license for the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill in western Montrose County on June 13. The license had been issued to Energy Fuels, Inc., by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in January 2011.

Judge John Mc Mullen said, “The Department had ignored its agreement with the Federal government to comply with Federal and Colorado State requirements for not allowing the public meaningful participation in the licensing process.”   This ruling echoed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission complaint earlier this year that CDPHE had failed to follow the Atomic Energy Act guidelines.  The ruling ordered a formal public hearing within 75 days of July 5, 2012.  

The conservation groups which brought this suit forward (Sheep Mountain Alliance and Western Mining Action Project), joined by the governments of the towns of Telluride and Ophir, won a huge court victory for the communities in our region by creating an opportunity for us to challenge all of the serious and substantiated environmental, health and economic impacts another uranium mill would bring to us.  Western Colorado Congress members have been working with a regional alliance addressing this issue.

This court case is a prime example of why citizen participation in this process is vital even though we’ve heard repeatedly in the last few years that “things are different now in the uranium industry…there are new regulations.”  The flawed CDPHE process at the Cañon City mill allowed it to be a 30-year Superfund site until a local citizen group exerted enough pressure to get it closed last year. 

The remediation of the uranium mills in Western Colorado cost us, as taxpayers, over $2 billion in state taxes alone in addition to an even larger amount in Federal taxes, and there are ongoing problems at each mill site.  The physical properties at the former uranium mills have been destroyed and buried and some of the soils mitigated, but much of the earth, even though it has been landscaped, remains highly radioactive.

The waters at mill sites were not cleaned up, but the Department of Energy (DOE) preferred action of “natural flushing” for 100 years has been used.  The DOE recently requested that the allowable standard of radioactive materials discharged into the waters at the Uravan mill site be raised because of the difficulty of cleanup to the present standard.

The complex radioactive web over the Uravan Mineral belt since the US Government procurement program 60 years ago also includes over 1,300 unremediated uranium mines. These mines vary in size and degree of radioactive wastes that are subject to winds, water, erosion and human disturbance creating vast amounts of radioactive and toxic degradation.  Recently, U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) proposed a “study” under the National Defense Authorization Act that would require three federal agencies to determine the extent of the hazard they pose and the demands and costs to close the mines.

Some of the mines are DOE leases, most privately owned but uncared for, and others abandoned. The DOE leases are in a process of a court-ordered Environmental Impact Review process now to determine their impacts on this area. As taxpayers we should not be responsible to reclaim all the mines under private ownership, but we should be included as partners with the governmental leaders and agencies in those decisions.

Last summer the DOE trans-ported 400 truckloads of radioactive waste from the old uranium mill site in Tuba City, Arizona, to the Grand Junction storage site, marking our area as a nuclear dump site for out-of-state entities.

Looking at these uranium activities, we see there have been no uranium jobs in this area for over 30 years except a few in reclamation. Socio-economic data gathered in the Sonoran Institute Study for Gateway Canyons Resort and the Powers report done on behalf of Sheep Mountain Alliance document that the “economy” of this area has moved on in the past 30 years, and that if there was a resurgence of the uranium industry it would harm the present sustainable economic developments and possibilities of future investments.  

These and other hydrologic and geologic documents will now be able to be introduced for consideration at the CDPHE formal hearing.

In other Piñon Ridge uranium mill news, Energy Fuels acquired all of Denison Mines Corporation’s (a Canadian firm) U. S. assets for stock. Those assets include not only the only uranium mill operating in the U.S. (the White Mesa mill in Blanding, Utah) but also the Beaver, Pandora and Daneros uranium mines on the Colorado Plateau, and the Arizona 1 mine.  Canadian investment media reports that Denison shareholders, led mostly by the Korean Electric Power Corporation, will own two-thirds of Energy Fuels. The same report described Denison’s U. S. assets as “poison pills”.

Dealing with our 70 year old radioactive WASTE web has become our regional legacy…it is not a legacy of hundreds of stable jobs, wealth, or strong, sustainable economies and communities.  We have not seen evidence yet of processes that honor our new regulations.  A healthier future could be created and many “uranium” jobs would be available if the mines would be rehabilitated and placed in “reserve”, and the mill waters be cleaned so they would not collectively contribute heavy radioactive metals into the waters of the Dolores, San Miguel and Colorado Rivers.

As US and Colorado citizens who become in perpetuity financially and ethically responsible for the nuclear sites already in our area and those that might be created, we must insist on citizen involvement in the regulatory processes so we can work toward: reasonable bonding rates; a continued ban on alternate feeds at the proposed mill, which could lead to more highly radioactive wastes into our storage sites; and the important consideration of cumulative socio-economic impacts and the health, environmental and economic dangers they present.


Uranium Activists Meet in Moab

Posted: 18th June 2012

photos and story by Lee Gelatt, WCC Community Organizer

The Uranium Confab in Moab, Utah, on May 13-16, was a gathering for activists to learn and strategize around uranium issues in the Southwest. The conference was sponsored by the Information Network for Responsible Mining, Western Mining Action Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, The Wilderness Society, Grand Canyon Trust, and individual donors.  Lee Gelatt, WCC Organizer, and Janet Johnson, WCC of Mesa County board member, attended the Confab.

Reel Thing Productions is filming Uranium Drive-In: A Documentary.  Here, director Suzan Beraza and her crew interview Jennifer Thurston of Sheep Mountain Alliance at the old Atlas uranium mill site in Moab, UT.   Currently in production, this feature-length documentary chronicles the debate over the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill in Colorado.   With authentic voices, the people featured in the film tell personal stories about life and death in a boom-bust mining town. And now, with the future of nuclear energy being questioned worldwide, there’s even more at stake.

Planning Underway for WCC Annual Meeting

Posted: 18th June 2012

WCC’s 32nd Annual Meeting is fast approaching on Saturday, October 13 at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta.  A key feature of the day is WCC’s annual business meeting, with a number of opportunities for member input.

Election of officers

WCC’s Nominating Committee will be proposing its slate of candidates for the offices of WCC President and Treasurer at the July 21 Board meeting.  However, members may also submit nominations, but they must be submitted to the Board by its meeting on September 8.  

Candidates must be WCC members in good standing.  Nominees for the office of President must have served on the WCC Board previously for at least three regular meetings.  Additionally, WCC bylaws stipulate that a majority of the officers shall be members from one of WCC’s community groups.
If you wish to make a nomina-tion, please contact WCC President Gretchen Nicholoff at (970) 527-3997.

Worley Award

The Chuck & Betsy Worley Award is given annually to an outstanding volunteer to WCC or one of its community groups.  To nominate someone, submit a statement, which ennumerates the volunteer’s contributions to the organization and dates of any positions held, to Gretchen Nicholoff (see above) by August 31.  Individuals or community groups may make a nomination.  Last year’s honorees were Dave Devanney from Battlement Mesa and Noalani Terry from Montrose.

Resolutions

WCC members may submit resolutions to be considered for approval at the Annual Meeting.  Proposed resolutions need to appear in the August/September Clarion (deadline August 17).  If you wish to submit a resolution, or have questions about proper format or previous resolutions on a particular issue, please contact Brenda at (970) 210-5242.

How close is too close to oil and gas?

Posted: 18th June 2012

by Frank Smith, WCC Director of Organizing

Colorado has over 48,000 active oil or gas wells, and development is getting closer to people.Since 2009, over 1,300 oil & gas wells have been approved within 1,000 feet of a home, school or other building.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is holding a series of meetings to explore the topic of “setbacks,” or the distance between an oil & gas facility and any occupied structures.   All summer long, agencies, industries, local governments, organizations and citizens will hear about the pros and cons of moving rigs further away from homes.  

The stakeholder groups participating thus far include:land developers, oil & gas companies and trade associations, local governments, conservation organizations, and citizens groups, including Western Colorado Congress.  

WCC, its members and friends are working for greater distance between rig and house, while the oil & gas industry and land developers are resistant to creating a larger “no drill zone” around buildings.  Current standards allow oil & gas to be 150-350 ft from homes, schools, hospitals and barns.  That’s too close for comfort.

For years, WCC has pressed for increased setbacks as a common sense way of reducing risk to public health and impacts to quality of life.  At issue is the balance between public health and private property rights.  Land and mineral owners have the right to develop or access their property, but the public has the right to health, safety and welfare.  A split estate land owner (someone who owns the surface, but not the underlying minerals), also has the right to quality of life, clean air and water.

Oil & gas development’s impacts on health are not well-known, either.  But new information points to the wisdom in health-based standards, moving oil & gas facilities away from homes, and investing in air quality monitoring.  The Draft Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment, for example, encourages at least ¼ mile setbacks from homes.  Another Garfield County-based study offers ½ mile as a safe distance.  

Early in the meetings, though, state regulators confessed current standards are not health-based.  Rather than considering cancer risks from toxic emissions spewing out of oil & gas locations, the current law was written so rigs wouldn’t fall onto houses, barns or other structures.  

We’re excited about the chance to move rigs back, but we’re also cautiously optimistic.  In 2008, for instance, Colorado said it would reconsider its rules on setbacks.  It has taken four years for the stakeholder group to convene, and at that glacial pace, thousands of more permits could be issued next to homes before changes are made.

Dome on the Range tour!

Posted: 18th June 2012

Chuck Malick, Western Colorado Congress’ long-time lobbyist in the Colorado legislature in Denver, will be making his annual “Dome on the Range” tour to the Western Slope this coming week!

Plan to attend one of these meetings to learn more about the outcomes of this year’s legislature and what’s on the horizon for 2013, as well as to share your ideas with Chuck and your fellow WCC members.
  •     MONTROSE:  Wednesday June 20 at 2:00 pm, Lions Park/Clubhouse, 602 North Nevada
  •     GRAND JUNCTION:  Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 pm, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1022 Grand Avenue
  •     PARACHUTE:  Thursday, June 21 at 10:00 am, Parachute Public Library, 244 Grand Valley Way
  •     STEAMBOAT SPRINGS:  Thursday, June 21 at 3:30 pm, Trillium House in Steamboat Botanical Gardens
WCC has been a strong force in the legislature over many years and we can make things happen, but that is most likely to happen if we plan ahead and have a good strategy.

If we work during the summer — finding bill sponsors, identifying allies and opponents, working with regulators — it is possible to craft a bill that stands a good chance of becoming law.  Potential issues include gas drilling, methane capture, public lands, Governor’s Energy Office, etc.   Also, there are some political appointments that we might want to have some influence on.

For more information, call Marv Ballantyne at (970) 249-1346.

Stop the Frack Attack!

Posted: 3rd May 2012

On July 28, people from California to New York, and North Dakota to Texas, will converge on the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress and the President to protect public health, water and air quality, and the climate from fracking.

Join WCC and other citizens groups in the Western Organization of Resource Councils in supporting this call to action to Stop the Frack Attack.

And join us in Washington, DC July 28 as we call for a truly clean, fossil fuel free energy future.

WORC is part of a nation-wide coalition determined to Stop the Frack Attack – the out-of-control rush to drill that values oil and gas industry profits over our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our future. 

Instead of pushing for the increased use of oil and gas, elected officials and public agencies must insist that the industry stop dirty and dangerous drilling and put communities first. As a first step, we need Congress and federal agencies to close loopholes in environmental laws – laws that every other industry must follow.

You can support the Stop the Frack Attack by

  • Signing up to participate in the day of action at the Capitol in D.C.
  • Following us @stopfrackattack Twitter.
  • Liking us on Facebook - facebook.com/stopthefrackattack
  • Forwarding this email to your friends, and asking them to join us at the Capitol on July 28!

North Fork oil & gas leasing deferred!

Posted: 3rd May 2012

The Bureau of Land Management just announced the deferral of oil & gas leasing in the North Fork of the Gunnison Valley!  The BLM opted not to auction-off nearly 30,000acres, but rather conduct additional analysis before making such a decision. Oil & gas leasing could still rear its head, but people like you, along with local government and farmers, spoke in unison.  To that, BLM responded!

“We are gratified by the BLM’s decision and think the agency finally heeded the public’s voice. That public included more than the usual suspects: irrigation companies, domestic water companies, every municipality in the North Fork, as well as the voices of our legislative representatives,” said WCC President Gretchen Nicholoff.

There are numerous folks to thank!
- Helen Hankins, BLM Colorado State Director, [email protected] or (303) 239-3700
- Barb Sharrow, BLM Uncompahgre Valley Field Manager, [email protected] or (970) 240-5300
- Senator Mark Udall, click here to send an email or call the Grand Junction office 970-245-9553
- Senator Michael Bennet, click here to send an email or call the Grand Junction office (970) 241-6631

Big Day in Denver for Oil & Gas

Posted: 3rd May 2012

Denver will be brimming with talk of oil & gas regulation today.  Don’t worry, you can make a difference without driving to the Big City! 

The State Senate will be considering a bill that would increase public health & environmental protections; the State House of Representatives will be looking at a bill that creates a disincentive for local government regulation of industry; and US Congress’ House of Reps is hearing about proposed public disclosure of ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands. 


Water Rights Protection Act

The Water Rights Protection Act (SB107, Carroll - Wilson) would protect property rights, health & safety, water quantity & quality, closed loop systems, injection of cancer-causing chemicals, environmental bonding. 

Introduced by Senator Morgan Carroll (Arapahoe County) and Representative Roger Wilson (Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Hinsdale Counties), the bill would greatly expand state agency consideration of impacts to air, water and public health.  Not only that, it considers drilling activity near radioactive materials, explosives and Superfund sites!  As it relates to radioactive materials and sites, Project Rulison is a western slope example of an underground, nuclear precursor to fracking. Let’s make sure drilling doesn’t open a nuclear pandoras box from yester-year, or that drilling and fracking don’t create new ones.

The rush to drill the Niobrara Formation around Colorado now has both sides of the Continental divide calling for healthy communities through safer drilling practices.   SIGN THE PETITION ON THE FRACKING SAFETY ACT.

Write or call West Slope Senate Judiciary members and/or leaders!
CHAIR: Senator Morgan Carroll: 303-866-4879; [email protected]
VICE-CHAIR: Senator Lucia Guzman: 303-866-4862; [email protected]us
*Senator Steve King (Mesa County): 303-866-3077; [email protected]
*Senator Ellen Roberts (Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, La Plata, Montezuma & Dolores Counties): 303-866-4884; [email protected]us
**Western Colorado lawmakers identified with an asterisk(*)


Colorado House Bill 1356

In Colorado, local governments can (and sometimes do) regulate oil & gas development.  But if this bill passes, towns & counties setting additional safety standards would lose-out on state funding meant to bolster impacted communities. 

The measure is scheduled to be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, and according to the Durango Herald, “The bill would withhold payments of severance taxes to any city or county that “in any way restricts or delays” energy production.” 

Towns that have oil & gas drilling nearby shouldn’t be punished for their local efforts to conserve health, safety, and environment. So, let’s say No to this bill. By doing so, your saying Yes to safe bridges, rigs further from homes, and cleaner streams.

Contact Western Slope House Ag, Livestock & Natural Resource Committee Members!
*Vice-Chair Rep. Randy Baumgardner (Garfield, Routt, Grand, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Jackson Counties) 303-866-2949 or [email protected]co.us
*Rep. Ray Scott (Mesa & Delta Counties) 303-866-3068 or [email protected]
*Rep. Don Coram (Montrose, Delta, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores, Montezuma Counties) 303-866-2955 or [email protected]
*Rep. Roger Wilson (Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Hinsdale Counties) 303-866-2945 or [email protected]
*Rep. J. Paul Brown (La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta Counties) 303-866-2914 or [email protected]  
*Rep. Ed Vigil (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache Counties) 303-866-2916 or [email protected]

US Congress House of Reps Field Hearing

Washington DC may be gridlock right now, but that’s not stopping the Subcommitte on Energy & Minerals from questioning the notion of publicly listing chemicals used in fracking.  The controversial oil & gas development process that posses serious health and environmental risk could be reined-in by the BLM, and your email or call to US Congressman Scott Tipton can help.

Check out the “State of the Rockies Report” that says 63% of Colorado voters are more likely to view environmental laws more as “important safeguards to protect private property owners, public health and taxpayers from toxic pollution and costly clean -ups” than to view them as “burdensome regulations that tie up industry in red tape, hurt them too much financially, and cost jobs”

CMU Environmental Film Winner Announced

Posted: 18th March 2012

Sustainability Through Gardening,  submitted by Colorado Mesa University club Meant for Movement, is the winner of WCC’s first-ever student video contest. The three-minute video will be shown as part of WCC’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Saturday, March 24 at Colorado Mesa University.

Filmmakers Nicholas Moore [club president], Ryan Dudley, Matt Haynie and Stephani Soto will be attending the festival.

“We are trying to help people around the world to support each other and the global community at once,” said Soto.  “Gardening seemed like the first step because it is simple, inexpensive and directly affects the quality of food you eat and therefore your physical well-being.  It also limits the negative global and environmental consequences of a modern world that runs on mass production and profit.”

Visit WCC’s website for details on the Film Festival and to purchase tickets.