Energy and Local Politics
- Perhaps the biggest news out of Colorado this week was the state supreme court's ruling against community fracking moratoriums.
- AMRDI has long expressed its support for Governor Hickenlooper's efforts to strike a balance between safe regulation and resource development [Note: see our 2015 policy briefs regarding the launch of the state oil and gas task force], and thus tacitly supports the logic expressed by the court in its decision -- as it has potential ramifications for state oversight of other 'localism' efforts that we fear are less productive, event violent [see our commentary on Malheur elsewhere as well]. However, the discontent expressed by communities, and the thus-far anemic capacity of the state, or task force guidelines, to measurably safeguard communities from deteriorating air quality throughout the Front Range, as well as workplace safety, means that a renewed state-wide effort to more rigorously regulate and enforce health, safety and zoning remains a necessity.
Gold King and the future of Silverton, CO
- High Country News has an extensive look back, and forward, regarding the ramifications of the gold King spill
- The following two links explore new data emerging from Feeding America research on the prevalence of hunger in America. Apart from its especially high occurrence in the Southeast (including Appalachian counties), it is more generally highest in rural counties. Take special notice of its presence in each Colorado, Wyoming and Alaska:
- There is some debate in rural Alaska as to just how beneficial mining really is, and not just from an economic perspective, but a cultural and sustainability one.
What we Missed
- The Alaska subsistence board closed northwest Arctic lands to all non-local hunters 2 weeks back. Even Alaskans who grew up in the northwest that have relocated to southern regions are no longer allowed to hunt. The article touches lightly on how the financial pressures on local households played a huge role on the decision.