Category: Environment

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2018 Mid-term elections

This guide lists AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote in the 2018 Mid-term election. The conclusions were reached by researching the issues, attending public events to educate voters about the issues, assessing incumbents’ records and candidates’ backgrounds, affiliations and public statements, considering personal assessments of candidates from trusted sources, reading and evaluating the arguments for and against the ballot measures in state’s “blue book,” reading the evaluations in the blue book of judges and justices, and by researching front groups active in promoting or fighting ballot measures where applicable, including the sources of funding for these groups. Primary importance is given on improving health and safety, protecting the environment, increasing fairness for voters and consumers, providing benefits to public education and making elections more competitive in the state.

Oil and gas front group “Protect Colorado” pumps out frightening hype about Proposition 112

Firestone, CO home explosion from oil and gas lines, April, 2017, which killed two people who were in the house. Proposition 112 seeks to prevent against hazards like this posed by oil and gas operations being too close to homes, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc.. (Photo: CBS)

At election time we’re always told the same old thing from wealthy business interests: “Ballot measure X is going to wreck our state! Ballot measure X will crush our businesses and cost hard working Coloradans thousands of jobs! Vote NO on Ballot Measure X!”

Now they’re doing the same thing with Proposition 112.

FREE Progressive Family Picnic Sept. 1 features gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis

Be a proud if you support forward-looking, consumer-friendly and environment-friendly polices!

Attend a FREE political event to celebrate the increasing power of liberals and progressives on the western slope! Come to the Progressive Family Picnic on Saturday, September 1 at the Watson Island Amphitheater from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The event is 100% free, no admission, open to all. It celebrates workers and families, so pack a picnic, and bring your family! Come enjoy the grassy amphitheater behind the Botanical Gardens beside the Colorado River at the end of 7th Street in downtown Grand Junction. There will be free live music and even parking is free. The event is sponsored by Claudette Konola and Kennedy for Colorado.  Chris Kennedy, who is running for State Senate District 7 against Ray Scott, will be there and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jared Polis will be there to share his bold ideas for the future and meet western slopers in person.

Tell your friends you’ll meet them there! There’s room for 1,000 people!

Senator Ray Scott’s absurd efforts to block progress in the energy industry

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott, die hard promoter of fossil fuels

State Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) isn’t just your average fossil fuel cheerleader. He goes far beyond defending the oil and gas industry by working to hobble and block advancements in clean, renewable energy, including solar energy, electric cars and even by finding creative ways to attack bicycle transportation. Even worse, Scott ignores inevitable injuries and deaths caused in pursuit of fossil fuel development, like the deadly explosion of a home in Firestone, Colorado on May 4, 2017 that killed two people and the July 27, 2018 explosion at a gas collection facility just over the state line in Cisco, Utah that badly burned two workers. 

Ray Scott relying on huge amounts of campaign financing from outside Mesa County

Ray Scott’s big smile might be because his campaign is being boosted by lots of money from big corporations based outside Mesa County.

A new campaign mailer arriving in people’s mailboxes takes digs at SD-7 candidate Dan Thurlow in an effort to boost Colorado Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) in the primary election this month.

The pro-Scott mailer was funded solely by a group called “Citizens for Cost Effective Government” (CFCEG), whose address is in an unspecified suite in the 56-story Republic Plaza building on 17th Street in downtown Denver. Citizens for Cost Effective Government’s funding comes from just two sources, neither of which are in Mesa County. $25,000 of their total $45,000 in funding comes from Extraction Oil and Gas Company, which — whoops! — just happens to share the same address on 17th Street as “Citizens for Cost Effective Government.”

The other $20,000 of CFCEG’s funding comes from the Colorado Apartment Association based in Denver’s Greenwood Village, not in Mesa County.

Anti-Ray Scott billboard campaign starts May 11

 

Mesa County residents who are fed up with State Senator Ray Scott are running a campaign urging people not to re-elect him in 2018.

Constituents say they’re fed up with Scott’s narrow-minded fossil fuel boosterism, ignorance of climate science, sub-par spelling and grammar and inability to tell credible research from industry-backed studies designed to reach a specific conclusion. Scott’s constituents are also offended by his rudeness. Scott calls voters who disagree with him “idiots.”  In February, 2017, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel threatened Scott with a defamation lawsuit after he called an opinion piece critical of him “fake news.” When a Mesa County resident commented on Scott’s Facebook page that the Sentinel was actually a conservative newspaper, Scott responded with this grammatically-challenged comeback: “Your [sic] a foolish Democrat, go cry somewhere else” and blocked the constituent from his page.

Sen. Ray Scott tanks bill to boost electric vehicle charging stations across the state

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Mesa County’s State Senator Ray Scott was the key “no” vote that killed a bill to encourage utility companies to build more infrastructure across the state for electric vehicles (EVs). The bill, SB18-216, would have permitted electric companies to build more EV charging stations and recoup the costs of the construction by charging fees to users. The bill would have expanded the use of clean-running electric vehicles in Colorado by making it easier for people to charge them when traveling across the state.

Tanking the bill was a goal of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), an astroturf front group funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, owners of Koch Industries, a private conglomerate with holdings in oil and gas. 

The dark money groups, shady astroturfers and wealthy locals backing Measure 1A, the public safety sales tax

Tim Pollard of “Back the Badge’s” board is the brother-in-law of Josh Penry, who, with Penry operates the astroturfing group EIS Solutions, which is pocketing much of the money raised to promote 1A

Ballot Measure 1A will increase the sales tax in Mesa County by 0.37% to fund the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office.

It sounds like a good idea, but much of the money behind 1A is coming from unaccountable sources, and the astroturfing groups promoting it may give some people pause. In particular, one big-money donor backing 1A is an aggressively pro-gun group that refuses to reveal its funders and works to push lawmakers out of office who support policies to reduce gun massacres in the U.S., like the one that occurred in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.

A Solution to the Palisade Gas Station Sign Dilemma

You’ve seen these signs. They’re big and bright and everyone looks for them on I-70 when they need gas, food or a rest stop.

Palisade residents are gearing up to oppose a 60-foot tall, lit gas station sign that Golden Gate Petroleum, the owners of a proposed 11-pump gas station and convenience store to be built at the Exit 42 offramp in Palisade.

Current town code limits signs to 20 feet in height.  Golden Gate says people on I-70 won’t be able to see a 20 foot sign. The Palisade Town Council has already bent the rules and handed the company a variance to build a 60-foot sign, but they shouldn’t have caved so easily. Their town is really worth the fight.

Rep. Scott Tipton: A One-Man Wrecking Ball for Coloradans

House Rep. Scott Tipton votes against financial transparency in government, against protecting citizens’ health and against American workers

Think House Representative Scott Tipton is on your side? Think again.

In the last couple of weeks, Rep. Tipton has voted against cleaner air, against creating more American jobs, and in favor of keeping financial information secret that would allow Congress to tell if changes President Trump proposes in the U.S. tax code would benefit his family’s income.

Grand Junction Chamber Opposes Protections for Public and Environment from Drilling Hazards

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke and the Chamber’s Board oppose a legal ruling that protects Colorado residents from drilling hazards.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is squarely opposed to protecting Colorado residents’ safety when it comes to oil and gas operations, and is demonstrating this by siding with oil and gas companies in an ongoing court case filed by Colorado children who feel their health, safety and the environment are threatened by overly permissive drilling and fracking activity.

State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

CO State Senator Rep Ray Scott (R), climate change denier and citer of foul-mouthed climate change denial author

Three days ago, Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Dist. 7) posted a link on his blog to a Forbes article titled “’97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong.”

Scott posted the article as a way to tell his constituents who value the environment, “Ha! I told you so! Global warming is fake!”

The author of the article is Alex Epstein, who has a BA in philosophy from Duke University, but no scientific background. Epstein is a staunch, paid philosophical defender of the fossil fuel industry. His biggest claim to fame is a book he authored in 2014 called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” which seeks to make a philosophical case for fossil fuel use, evidently because a valid scientific case for continued fossil fuel use can’t be made.

Hundreds Turn Out for Grand Junction’s March for Science


A crowd of about 900 people turned out for Grand Junction’s March for Science on April 22, one of about 600 such marches held across the globe on Earth Day to show support for scientific research and scientifically-derived information that enhances life.

The weather was clear, sunny, and around 70 degrees. The march started at the old R-5 High School at 7th and Grand, went east to 12th Street and then turned north to Lincoln Park, where an Earth Day celebration and festival was being held. The crowd was big enough to fill the sidewalks for most of the distance.

How does Moab Feel about a “MOAB” Bomb Being Dropped on Afghanistan?

Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the largest non-nuclear conventional bomb in existence

 

Moab residents are not happy that the name “MOAB” is being associated with the massive bomb the Trump administration dropped on Afghanistan yesterday.

The largest non-nuclear bomb in the United States’ weapons arsenal, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB). It was dropped yesterday, leading the acronym MOAB to be broadcast over national news repeatedly for the last 24 hours.

Asked about how Moab residents feel about the name of their town being associated with destruction, Moab City Councilman Kyle Bailey responded, “Mayor Sakrison and the Moab City Council sent a letter to Bush administration in 2003 protesting the association of the name [of this bomb] with Moab. Some people in Moab do like the association.” The city councilman sent a link to the February, 2003 BBC article about the mayor’s protest.

In Case You Missed It: County Commissioners Officially Approve Collbran Landowner’s Illegal Activity

Colby Olford broke the law for years, then the Mesa County Commissioners caught up with him — and rewarded him for it.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported on March 15 that Mesa County’s three Republican County Commissioners publicly admonished a Collbran landowner for violating the law by hosting commercial events on his property for years without required permits.

Then they rewarded him by making his activities legal.

Spring Open Burn Season Fouls the Air, Casts a Pall over the Grand Valley

 

The Grand Valley’s springtime air is fouled with smoke from open burning

It’s springtime and open burning season is upon us once again, giving Grand Valley residents sore throats, burning eyes, runny noses, headaches and asthma attacks. Beautiful spring days that dawn clear and bright are soon fouled by dense plumes of smoke that drift across the valley forcing people to close their doors and windows and grab their inhalers. KKCO 11 News on March 16 said, “Add in an early allergy season and you have a recipe for a breathing disaster.”

And a disaster it is, for many people, and not just for their health, but for their property, too.

Undeveloped Parks Languish While City Pursues an Events Center

Matchett Park – Despite the City of Grand Junction putting on a community-wide planning effort in 2014 that resulted in a master plan and preferred alternative for development, and despite the City getting a GOCO grant to cover 75% of the cost it’s construction, nothing ever happened at Matchett Park

The City of Grand Junction owns a number of large land parcels around the valley that are designated as parks, but that are little more than vacant lots unused by the public.