Posts Tagged ‘Scott Tipton’

House approves controversial hydropower bill

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

The House approved U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill to streamline small hydropower development processes for canals and ditches today. (more…)

Congressman Tipton calls campaign violation an accident

Posted on: March 5th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. (source: tipton.house.gov)

ASPEN — Before a fireside chat with a youthful crowd of skiers and snowboarders, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., downplayed his staff’s recently disclosed violation of House rules. (more…)

Chevron gives up on Colorado oil shale project

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by Paul No Comments

Chevron is giving up its experimental oil shale lease in western Colorado.

The company is one of only three holding a federal lease to research oil shale development in Colorado but officials say they would rather pursue other projects.

“Chevron has notified the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS) that it intends to divest its oil shale research, development and demonstration lease in the Piceance Basin in Colorado,” the company announced Tuesday. “While our research was productive, this change assures that critical resources — people and capital — will be available to the company for other priorities and projects in North America and around the globe. We will work with the BLM and DRMS to determine the best path forward, timing and other issues.”

Despite nearly 100 years of failed attempts to make oil shale commercially viable, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said the energy source will help fund his $260 billion transit package and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado, is pushing the Pioneers Act, which would revive a 2008 plan put together during the Bush administration to open 2 million acres of public lands in Utah, Wyoming and western Colorado to oil shale drilling. The House passed Lamborn’s bill this month.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report, however, which projected that Boehner’s bill would, over 10 years, leave the highway trust fund $78 billion in the red, and the Interior Department is looking at slashing the amount of land available for oil shale research to 32,640 acres.

“Chevron’s research hardly got started and they quickly concluded that they were throwing money down a rabbit hole. It’s indicative of the fact that oil and gas companies see much more profitable, and realistic, opportunities elsewhere,” said Colorado energy expert Randy Udall.

Squeezing energy out of oil shale requires immense quantities of water and energy. Industrial-scale oil shale development could require as much as 150 percent of the amount of water the Denver Metro Area consumes annually, according to Bureau of Land Management estimates.

As early as 1921, oil companies have been trying to tap northwest Colorado for oil shale. The expense required to develop the energy source, however, has outweighed potential profits. About a dozen different projects have come and gone during that time — none remembered more than “Black Sunday” when ExxonMobil pulled the plug on a huge oil shale operation in western Colorado in 1982 that left the region in economic shambles.

Chevron and its subsidiaries starting amassing acreage in Colorado for oil shale research back in the 1930s.

“Oil companies have been trying to pull the sword from the stone for nearly a century. Oil shale has no King Arthur,” said Matt Garrington of the Checks & Balances Project. “Chevron’s decision to pull out of oil shale is yet another reason why [U.S. Rep. Scott] Tipton [R-Colorado] and Lamborn should quit saying that melting rocks into oil will somehow fund critical repairs to our roads and bridges.”

Royal Dutch Shell and AMSO are the other two companies that hold oil shale leases in Colorado.

Lamborn’s excuses blowing in the wind while Polis sets sights on oil shale ‘boondoggle’

Posted on: February 15th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

Asked why he was Colorado’s lone congressional holdout in calling for the extension of the wind tax credit, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn responded that his “preference is to help industry grow by reducing federal regulations and mandates as opposed to carving out special interests in the tax code.”

There is no question the Republican who represents central Colorado has been trying “to help industry grow by reducing federal regulations and mandates” as he has been a persistent thorn in the Environmental Protection Agency’s side since first getting elected in 2006. But the congressman’s suggestion last week that he could not support the federal wind production credit because it tinkers with the tax code doesn’t jibe with how he has treated fossil fuels. Over and over again, Lamborn has voted to protect subsidies and special tax breaks for oil and gas.

A year ago, he voted against an amendment to repeal $53 billion in oil subsidies. A month later, he voted against a motion that would have stopped oil companies from getting any subsidies. Combined, Lamborn and Colorado’s other conservative congressmen voted 18 times to protect tax breaks for oil companies in 2011. Lamborn’s record (pdf) shows that he has not only routinely sided with tax breaks for oil companies, he stiff-arms renewable energy whenever given the chance. Last July, for instance, Lamborn shot down an amendment to increase funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as an amendment to boost funding for the Department of Energy’s solar energy program and he voted in favor of eliminating all funding for energy efficiency and renewables.

The closest support Lamborn has shown for the development of wind energy may be his push to mine rare earth minerals, which generate radioactive waste and are used to manufacture wind turbines.

Lamborn’s spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment for this story.

The congressman has indeed been a good fossil fuel foot soldier. He is the architect of the Pioneers Act, which would fast-track more oil shale exploration in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The Bureau of Land Management, however, is recommending a much different plan. Whereas Lamborn wants to open up to 2 million acres of public land in the three states for oil shale exploration, the BLM believes a half-million acres would do. Adding to the drama of dueling blueprints for energy exploration is House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who announced he plans to use oil shale revenues to rebuild the nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. New numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, however, reveal oil shale leases under the Pioneers Act would total less than $100,000 annually over the next decade. Infrastructure improvements are estimated to cost $40 billion.

Congressman Jared Polis, D-Colorado, is planning to offer an amendment today to strike mandated commercial oil shale leasing from Boehner’s pending highway bill.

“We’ve heard of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 proposal; oil shale is the 0-0-0 proposal — no energy, no revenue, and no jobs,” Polis said. “It’s worth research, and there are plenty of research leases out there, but it isn’t ready for prime-time. We shouldn’t risk thousands of real Colorado jobs in agriculture or our recreation economy on a giveaway to oil companies. Congress shouldn’t hand two million acres of public lands to oil shale speculators and lock these areas away from Colorado families, ranchers and recreation jobs.”

Industrial scale oil shale development could require as much as 150 percent of the amount of water the Denver Metro Area consumes annually, according to Bureau of Land Management estimates. Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado, recently voted against an amendment to Lamborn’s bill that would have required the U.S. Geological Survey to complete more study of the effects of oil shale exploration on water resources before allowing commercial development.

“Oil shale is technologically unproven for commercial development and its water demands not fully studied,” said Colorado Wildlife Federation Executive Director Suzanne O’Neill. “It is only common sense that we pursue a research-first approach instead of fast-tracking leasing of additional federal public lands for hoped commercial development that could impact further the lands and waters Coloradans use for economically significant hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation.”

Matthew Garrington, co-director of the Checks and Balances Project, released a video this week of what he calls the “oil shale boondoggle” that is the centerpiece of an online ad campaign in the National Journal, Politico, The Hill and the Colorado Springs Gazette. The video is below.

Colorado congressional delegation pushes for wind energy tax credit

Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by The American Independent 2 Comments

Eight of Colorado’s nine congressional delegates are calling for the extension of the federal wind production tax credit to be added to the nation’s pending payroll tax-reduction package. (more…)

Obama’s push for ‘clean energy’ elicits partisan reaction from Colorado lawmakers

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

President Obama’s call to increase domestic energy production Tuesday received a rosy reception from Colorado’s lefty lawmakers but was all but ignored by its conservative congressional delegation still smarting from the commander-in-chief’s recent blocking of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (more…)

Senate shelves Internet piracy bill following Web protest

Posted on: January 20th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

The U.S. Senate has postponed voting on the controversial anti-online piracy Protect IP Act (PIPA), the upper chamber’s version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was pushed hard by entertainment corporations over the last two years but shelved in the House this week after a massive opposition movement saw top Internet sites shutdown in protest and citizen emails swamp Capitol Hill servers. (more…)

Colorado GOP swing-district candidates dodge questions about ‘personhood’

Posted on: January 12th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

Federal presidential-election-year campaigns are heating up in Colorado now that the boundaries of the state’s congressional districts have been updated. Yet so far, Mike Coffman and Scott Tipton, the Republican representatives of new, more competitive sixth and third districts, have yet to articulate for the record their stances on “personhood,” the hard-line anti-abortion proposition that has become a litmus-test issue in Colorado after having landed on the ballot as an initiative in the last two general elections and after clearing hurdles to speed toward the ballot again this year. (more…)