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Interior Department touts efforts to protect sage grouse

greater sage grouse,

DENVER (AP) — A broad effort to save the greater sage grouse across the West without resorting to the Endangered Species Act is making progress, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday. “There’s some really good work going on,” Jewell said during a visit to a national wildlife refuge outside Denver, where she announced a year ago that the rare bird ...

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US takes key step to implement sage grouse conservation plan

A Greater Sage Grouse seen flaunting its tail feathers. (Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr)

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have issued new guidelines that will help determine what restrictions are imposed on oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing and other activities in the West to protect the greater sage grouse. The guidelines released Thursday are part of a broader effort to save the distinctive bird without resorting to the Endangered Species Act, which ...

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Colorado oil and gas proposals fall short on signatures

DENVER (AP) — Backers of two proposed ballot measures to change how oil and gas drilling is regulated failed to get enough signatures to get them on this fall’s ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Monday. One proposal sought to require new oil and gas wells to be at least 2,500 feet from homes and schools in Colorado, ...

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Groups challenge federal oil, gas leasing on climate grounds

derrick, oil well,

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two environmental groups say in a lawsuit the federal government needs to consider the potential effects of climate change before allowing oil and gas drilling on public land. The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., challenges almost 400 oil and gas leases the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently has issued in Wyoming, Utah and ...

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Study: Most sources of methane hot spot are gas facilities

methane, natural gas production, Four Corners

DENVER (AP) — Most methane sources contributing to a puzzling concentration of the greenhouse gas over the Southwestern United States appear to be natural gas production facilities, scientists said Monday. Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines ...

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Deal to bring electricity to over 1,000 on Navajo Nation

electricity, substation

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — More than 1,000 Navajos who live without electricity in their homes soon could get power for the first time as the tribal utility buys a system of rural Utah substations and electrical lines under the terms of a decades-old deal with a power company. Across the 27,000 square-mile Navajo Nation, an estimated 15,000 people live ...

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Utah national monument proposal stirs fierce debate

Utah, cave drawings,

BLANDING, Utah (AP) — Laminated sheets of papers held in place by rocks rest inside ancient cliff dwellings nestled underneath a spectacular red rock overhang in southeastern Utah. “Don’t erase the traces of America’s past,” the signs read. “Please do not enter interior rooms.” The weathered signs and a similar warning at the trailhead are the only protections in place ...

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US finishes plan to protect Roan Plateau in western Colorado

energy taxes, Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have taken another step toward protecting most of western Colorado’s wild Roan Plateau from natural gas drilling, releasing a revised plan that puts many areas off-limits. The Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday the plan puts in place the provisions of a 2014 compromise among conservation groups and natural gas producer Bill Barrett Corp. ...

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Judge: US agency lacks authority to set rules on fracking

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge ruled Tuesday that federal regulators lack the authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, dealing another setback to the Obama administration’s efforts to tighten how fossil fuels are mined. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said the Bureau of Land Management can’t set the rules because Congress has not authorized it to do so. The ...

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