As Oil-and-Gas Expand Along Coastlines, Colorado Cuts Back on Coal

April 1 2010, 10:38 AM

It seems no matter what President Barack Obama does, he creates controversy. With health-care-reform fading in the rearview mirror, his detractors have turned, at least for the moment, to his proposal to allow oil and natural gas drilling on vast expanses of American coastline. The plan has not only upset environmentalists, who say the proposal will jeopardize marine life, but also the energy industry he sought to appease, as Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar seek to keep some of the coasts off limits, according to The New York Times. While that debate rages, environmentalists are claiming a small-scale victory with an announcement that the feds will no longer fast-track drilling permits without ordering a full environmental review (via The Associated Press). The change was compelled by the settlement of a lawsuit earlier this week filed by environmental groups in Utah against the Bush administration's 2005 Energy Policy Act. Back at home, the state Senate’s top two Republicans joined with many Democrats to approve an environmentally friendly bill that prioritizes the natural-gas industry over coal, writes the Denver Business Journal. Meanwhile, one of the most notorious coal plants in the state, Xcel Energy's Comanche facility just south of Pueblo, has residents of the southern Front Range city frustrated and angry over an ongoing, irritating noise emanating from its new Comanche 3 stack, reports the Chieftain. In the past month, locals have complained to Xcel and the state's Public Utilities Commission, bringing stories of sleepless nights, increased anxiety, and anxious pets (via the Chieftain). As a result, some residents are seeking refuge in hotel rooms located farther away from the plant.