HICKENLOOPER TO VISIT CRAIG MONDAY
The venue has changed for Monday’s meeting with Governor John Hickenlooper in Craig Monday. In order to accommodate a larger seating area, the meeting has been moved to the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavillion. If you’d like to attend, click here to reserve your spot. The governor is attempting to “lean in and listen” to rural Colorado concerns, after backlash over new gun and energy laws. He will meet with residents from 11:30 to 12:15. If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can listen in on 93-7/102-3 KRAI and 55 Country, on your PC, on your smart phone, or on Optimum Channel 17 in Craig and Hayden.
TIPTON PUSHES FOR GUARANTEES IN PILT PAYMENTS
Stressing that many rural county budgets are already stretched thin as they strive to deliver vital services, Representative Scott Tipton, yesterday, led 47 of his House colleagues in urging Budget Conferees to provide certainty for counties and prioritize funding for the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) program. PILT reimburses local governments for losses in tax revenues due to the presence of large expanses of un-taxable federal lands, ensuring vital funding for infrastructure, law enforcement, education and other essential operations. Moffat County has an abundance of those lands. Matt Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties (NACo), said counties nationwide applaud the leadership of Representative Tipton for his attention to PILT, and thanked the group of 47 members of Congress for their strong bipartisan support.
STATE OIL AND GAS REGS GET HEARING IN DENVER
Colorado’s proposal to curb air pollutants from oil and gas operations got a first hearing yesterday before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission. Drillers and environmental activists both praised the proposal, which includes the nation’s first statewide limit on methane emissions from oil and Gas operations. But several pointed out small haggling points that will have to get worked out before the rules are final in February. The rules also call for more frequent monitoring for leaks. Governor John Hickenlooper announced the proposed rules Monday. The monitoring has an estimated price tag to the industry of $30 million.
BLM’S NORTHWEST RAC WILL MEET NEXT MONTH
The Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest Resource Advisory Council will meet December 5th at the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt. Agenda items include the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-grouse EIS, air quality modeling and land use planning, data management system for the White River Field Office, and field manager updates. The Northwest Colorado RAC meets quarterly in northwestern Colorado. It is one of several citizen advisory councils to BLM Colorado. Its 15 members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and represent a broad range of public land interests, including environmental, local government, wild horse and burro, and commercial activity. The Northwest RAC advises the BLM Colorado Northwest District, which includes the Grand Junction, White River, Little Snake, Kremmling and Colorado River Valley BLM field offices. The meeting runs from 10 to 3 and is open to the public.
VETERANS WARNED OF SCAMMERS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF WRONG NUMBERS
Officials are warning of a scam specifically targeting veterans trying to reach the Veteran’s Benefits Administration. A marketing company has purchased two toll-free numbers almost identical to the VBA toll-free numbers to trick Veterans who have mistakenly dialed the wrong number into providing credit card numbers and other private information. According to the VA, the marketing company tries to mislead Veterans into volunteering their personal information by offering a free Walmart gift card in exchange. When asked if they are the Veterans Affairs office, the marketing company replies vaguely and explains that the Veterans Affairs office is very busy. They respond yes when asked if they can help with VA benefits, and they may even offer to transfer callers after requesting credit card information. Veterans are encouraged to use care when calling VA national lines and to be aware that the VBA office does not sell gift cards or ask for credit card information.
GROUP SAYS REID, OBABMA STACKING COURTS
Yesterday, Senator Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” on judicial nominations, not including nominations to the Supreme Court. Under the new rules change, a judicial nominee does not need to meet the 60-vote cloture threshold and can be confirmed by a simple majority vote. Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel says the action by Harry Reid is frightening. In a statement he says “not only is the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals considered a launching pad to the Supreme Court, this circuit court hears constitutional challenges to executive rules and regulations.” He says it appears Obama “is trying to stack the court that would rule on his unconstitutional executive orders dealing with Obamacare.” He says the rules change shows that Senator Reid has no intention of working with Republicans.
GARDNER INTRODUCES ENERGY SAVING LEGISLATION FOR FEDS
Yesterday, Representative Cory Gardner and Representative Peter Welch of Vermont introduced bipartisan energy efficiency legislation that gives federal agencies greater opportunities to reduce energy use through Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESCs). The federal government is the largest consumer of energy in the country, spending $6 billion annually in federal facilities. The Utility Energy Service Contracts Improvement Act of 2013 allows federal agencies to enter into performance contracts with utility companies for up to 25 years, allowing agencies to achieve longer term energy savings goals. Under a UESC, a utility negotiates a contract with a federal agency that specifies the amount of energy savings it will achieve through retrofits and other measures. The utility is then paid for its performance out of the savings it achieves.
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF J.F.K.
This is the 50th anniversary of the day John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas. Official observances are taking place across the country. The event created some of the most intense conspiracy theories that still linger today. After thousands of books, news articles, TV shows, movies and documentaries on the incident, surveys show a majority of Americans still believe in the conspiracy theories, distrusting evidence pointing to Oswald as the sole killer. Kennedy was 46 when he died.