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Press Release Archive
- December 12, 2010: In a unanimous decasion, Colorado's Public Utility Commission passed a plan to implement the landmark Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act of 2010 to clean up the air along Colorado's Front Range by closing or upgrading five coal-fired power plants. These aging plants were among the biggest polluters in the state and contributed to the area's notorious "brown cloud." WRA played a very large role in bringing this to fruition.
- October 14, 2010: The Arizona communities of Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, and Payson are recipients of WRA's Top Drop Award for their work in developing and implementing effective water conservation programs. In a study whose results are now published as the Arizona Water Meter report, these communities are establishing a template for successful conservation in a state whose water resources face great uncertainty because of population growth, diminishing flows in the Colorado River, and depleting groundwater resources.
- October 13, 2010: A second round of oil shale research, demonstration, and development (RD&D) leases were moved forward for state approval by the Bureau of Land Management. These leases area step in the wrong direction for a nation in need of new energy sources, just not low-value and highly destructive ones with a 100-year track record of failure.
- October 11, 2010: WRA issued a Media Advisory in advance of the release of the Arizona Water Meter Report in Phoenix, along with presenting WRA's Top Drop Award to the top four water utilities who are doing the most to conserve wtaer.
- September 27, 2010: The permit for a controversial proposed tar sands mine in Utah was appealed to the Board of the Department of Oil, Gas, and Mining because it failed to take into account serious concerns about surface and groundwater contamination. The mining operation hopes to use a secret solvent solution it claims is non-toxic but has yet to prove that publicly.
- September 8, 2010: Western Resources Advocates (WRA) released its new report, “Fossil Foolishness: Utah’s Pursuit of Tar Sands and Oil Shale.” The report evaluates the impacts and wisdom of pursuing development of tar sands and oil shale in Utah. Based on the report findings, WRA cautions against extraction of tar sands and oil shale.
- September 2, 2010: WRA is issuing a media advisory about a pending press conference to unveil the upcoming report, "Fossil Foolishness: Utah's Pursuit of Tar Sands and Oil Shale." The telephone press conference will occur Wednesday, September 8th at 10am MST.
- August 2, 2010: The value to society for any potential fuel source can be measured in terms of how much energy is gained in exchange for the energy required to produce it. A study examining the energy returned on energy invested (EROI) of oil shale found it may not create more energy than it consumes. This low EROI calls into question theree is any merit to developing oil shale as a transporation fuel source, even if the technology to do so is ever perfected.
- July 12, 2010: Western Resource Advocates and Environmental Defense Fund released the report, "Protecting the Lifeline of the West: How Climate and Energy Policies Can Safeguard Water" providing evidence for federal legislators why passing effective climate change policy is also good water policy for the West. Transitioning to cleaner energy sources, like solar and wind, can use far less water that other tradional power generation sources, yielding possible new source of water supply for the parched West.
- June 23, 2010: As the Western Governors Association convenes for there annual meeting to discuss the future of clean energy in the West, among other issues, a group of pioneers have already demonstrated how clean energy can succeed in the West. A new publication tells the stories of these clean energy pioneers who are establishing a foundation for growth that the governors can build upon.
- June 8, 2010: The Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission voted unanimously to approve a new slate of regulations, including requirements for oil and gas drilling companies to disclose the chemicals they use in the process of hydrauluic fracturing. This is a very important move for protecting human health and environment because of incidences of exposure through contaminated groundwater, industrial accidents, and other spills.
- June 3, 2010: Coordinated releases of reservoir water from across Colorado will help boost spring peak flows in the Colorado River, providing critical spawning flows for endangered fish, but also creating conditions that improve the health of the river and benefit the bountiful life found along its banks. A partnership of diverse interests, that includes WRA, is responsible for making these releases happen.
- May 24, 2010: Henry Red Cloud of Lakota Solar Enterprise manufactures and installs residential solar heaters, and he has established a school to train other tribe members to do the same, bringing much-needed heat and jobs to tribal lands. Henry's story is another in a series of Clean Energy Pioneers biographies of entrepreneurs who are advancing the cause of clean energy in the West.
- May 20, 2010: The Colorado Water Conservation Board declared its intention to appropriate water rights to protect two streams that are the lifeblood of the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area. WRA, along with the Wilderness Society and the Colorado Envirnmental Coaltion, expressed support for the Board's actions.
- May 17, 2010: The Department of the Interior finalized a series of sorely-needed onshore oil and gas leasing reforms. WRA issued a statement commending the changes as a return to credible federal stewardship of public lands and a correction of lacking federal oversight that contributed, in part, to the disasterous oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
- April 19, 2010: Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed into law the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, a measure designed to replace aging coal plants on Colorado's Front Range with cleaner options, including renewables. These outdated coal plants contribute to poor air quality in the region, creating a valid concern for public health.
- April 12, 2010: Denver Water, the largest water utility in the state of Colorado, reached across the Continental Divide to chose the new head of their organization. In selecting Jim Lochhead as their new leader, Denver Water brought a sense of balance to an agency that is one of the largest diverters of water out of the Colorado River Basin.
- April 6, 2010: Colorado Governor Bill Ritter petitioned the federal government to adopt a revised set of rules for Colorado's 4.2 million acres of roadless national forest lands. WRA President Karin P. Sheldon issued a statement suppporting the governors initiative to protect these land now as federal roadless rules have been languishing since 2001.
- March 22, 2010: Sithe Global Energy announced it is abandoning its plans to build the Toquop coal plant in Nevada, and will instead opt for using other, cleaner energy sources. The Toquop plant is the last of three Nevada coal plant proposals to succumb to the poor economics and risks of coal and turn to other options. This follows a national trend that has seen more than 125 proposals for coal-burning plants halted in their tracks as coal falls into disfavor with utilities.
- March 16, 2010: The Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act introduced in the Colorado Legislature will require Xcel Energy to dramatically reduce pollution from its aging Front Range coal-burning power plants by replacing or updating those units with cleaner sources of energy by the end of 2017. Xcel Energy is supportive of the bill that will reduce the amount of harmful pollutants such as particulates, nitrogen, ground-level ozone, haze, sulfur dioxide and mercury.
- February 23, 2010: Shell unexpectedly dropped its pursuit of a large water right on the Yampa River to be used for oil shale development. WRA, an opposer to the filing, issued a statement commending Shell for withdrawing their water right filing because oil shale development is inappropriate use of the West's precious lands, water, and clean air.
- February 22, 2010:In a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Western Resource Advocates reveals that water from Aaron Million’s proposed water pipeline project would be too expensive for its purported customers. The letter also asserts that there is no need for the project’s extremely costly water and that the Corps should end its review of the project. See a copy of WRA's letter to the Corps here.
- February 11, 2010: The BLM pulled three oil and gas lease parcels that had been unlawfully included in a federal lease sale. An appeal filed by WRA on behalf of western Colorado clients caused an appeals board to re-evaluate the circumstances under which the lease had been issued. These roadless parcels now remain unscarred.
- January 7, 2010: WRA released the report "Phoenix Green: Designing a Community Tree Planting Program for Phoenix, Arizona," that outlines a plan for southwestern cities, such as Phoenix, to implement a coordinated tree planting effort as a means of reducing electricity consumption. Urban tree canopies have yet to catch up with the region's recent explosive growth, and unshaded dwellings become large consumers of electricity as the absorb heat and sunshine. Electrical utilities can find supporting such tree planting programs an effective tool for decreasing their peak energy demands.
- January 6, 2010: WRA released a statement regarding Colorado Governor Ritter's announcement to not seek re-election. Gov. Ritter has been a strong protector of Colorado's resources while seeking an innovative new energy economy for the state.