NEWS, JULY 18TH

Glenwood Springs–Commissioners in Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties are urging the Bureau of Land Management to adopt a plan to protect the Greater Sage Grouse. Several officials endorsing the Parachute-Piceance-Roan plan say it will protect the bird without severe restrictions on growth and development.

Glenwood Springs–Opening arguments are expected to begin tomorrow in the trial of accused cop shooter Phillip Amonette of Rifle. Attorneys pared down a field of 250 potential jurors to 80 yesterday. Amonette is accused of shooting a Rifle police officer in October of 2010 following a domestic disturbance. The officer was wearing a bullet proof vest and survived.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper says hydraulic fracturing to free natural gas is safe and could lead to cleaner fuel for cars. Hickenlooper said Tuesday the procedure that has led to environmental concerns and protests over drilling on public lands produces natural gas that is cleaner if drilling is done properly.
Hickenlooper believes advancements for compressed natural gas cars will expand the market for fracking-produced gas. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground. Environmentalists say the technique pollutes groundwater and the chemicals are unsafe.

DENVER (AP) – BP America Inc. has paid a $5 million civil penalty for submitting false, inaccurate or misleading reports for energy production on Southern Ute Indian Tribal lands in southwestern Colorado. The U.S. Department of the Interior says BP America initially requested a hearing on the civil penalty but decided to pay up instead. The agency says auditors found that BP used incorrect royalty rates and prices for royalty payments. BP also reported well production for the wrong leases. The company attributed the errors to problems with automated files.

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