Southwest Life

New leadership at EPA, same rollbacks

By the time Scott Pruitt resigned as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, he was the poster child for bungling personal entitlement. As Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa put it,...

DATE: July 21, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

For 50 years, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves waterways

Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It was a counterpoint to the West’s flurry of dam-building in the 1950s and 1960s that saw dams erected across many of the region’s...

DATE: June 16, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

San Juan Wilderness Act strategically protects mountains’ beauty

With spring full bore upon us, it’s hard not to cast an envious eye toward the high country and start daydreaming about alpine wildflower hikes. One favorite destination for many is Ice Lake Basin...

DATE: May 19, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

LPEA board vote hinges on vision for power supply

This year’s La Plata Electric Association board election is a pivotal referendum on the future of our electric supply. Are co-op members happy with the status quo, being joined at the hip for the...

DATE: April 21, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

Interior Department hears resistance to energy leases

Five years versus five days. That succinctly describes the different weights accorded to constituents raising objections to expanded oil and gas leasing in landscapes with special circumstances. As...

DATE: March 17, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

La Plata Electric Association grapples with era of change

It’s a challenging time for La Plata Electric Association. The electric utility world is undergoing a classic technology disruption, where rapid advances threaten to upend decades-old business...

DATE: Feb. 18, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

To plan, or not to plan – land use in La Plata County

It might be easy to chuckle at the silliness of the conspiracy theorists convinced the United Nations is scheming with La Plata County to forcibly relocate rural folks into urban housing centers....

DATE: Jan. 21, 2018 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

Now’s the time to voice your views about our public lands’ future

Last week’s events punctuated by the Trump administration’s cavalier abandonment of a century’s worth of American conservation practice is greatly discouraging. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wiped...

DATE: Dec. 16, 2017 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

Sen. Gardner’s vote can determine fate of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

With the onset of winter, it’s never too early to daydream of next year’s adventures. Nowhere compares with the raw, spontaneous wildness of Alaska’s primeval landscapes teeming with abundant...

DATE: Nov. 18, 2017 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

New bill puts nation’s public lands in jeopardy

Last week, the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee passed a bill to prevent presidents from creating national monuments. It would severely limit the future preservation of many...

DATE: Oct. 20, 2017 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

Hurricanes are a stark reminder of the costs of climate change

As we stand transfixed by the enormously powerful hurricanes churning across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, one can’t help but think about our place in the climate-change continuum. Here in the...

DATE: Sept. 15, 2017 | COLUMN: Thinking Green

Power struggle with Tri-State won’t end soon

A few weeks ago, we sent forth our champion with bated breath and hopeful expectations to plead our case before Tri-State, to please allow us to generate more electricity locally here at home in La...

DATE: Aug. 18, 2017 | COLUMN: Thinking Green