Items by Jonathan Thompson

The oil boom hasn't busted, but it's straining at the seams
The oil boom hasn't busted, but it's straining at the seams
Oil patch communities and states are starting to feel the impacts of sliding prices.
Killings by cops are much more common in Western states
Killings by cops are much more common in Western states
Arrest-related death rates are highest in New Mexico, with Nevada and Oregon close behind.
The linchpin to a national supergrid
The linchpin to a national supergrid
Clovis, New Mexico, may link three grids and become a renewable energy hub.
Gentrification comes to Denver
Gentrification comes to Denver
With the right policies, the city can be desirable and affordable.
Light rail enters the West’s most sprawling metropolis
Light rail enters the West’s most sprawling metropolis
New transportation sparked a renaissance in Denver. Can it do the same for Phoenix?
Water use is lower than it's been in 45 years
Water use is lower than it's been in 45 years
U.S. population has grown by 105 million people since 1970, yet we somehow shrank our water footprint.
Will falling oil prices kill the shale revolution?
Will falling oil prices kill the shale revolution?
The current drilling boom is more sensitive to price fluctuations than its predecessors.
Keep the spray out of the oatmeal
Extraction taxes are on the ballot
Extraction taxes are on the ballot
North Dakota and Nevada voters might learn something from Wyoming.
The Latest: When wind and solar need reliable backup power
The Latest: When wind and solar need reliable backup power
Western grid operators can now buy backup power on a real-time, open market to smooth intermittent renewables.
NASA finds methane hot spot over Four Corners
NASA finds methane hot spot over Four Corners
The culprit is the extensive fossil fuel industry infrastructure, not just fracking or coal mines.
About the price of oil
About the price of oil
Since rig counts follow oil prices, the current slump will hurt Western economies.
The 21st century's Hoover Dam?
The 21st century's Hoover Dam?
What a huge Wyoming wind and Utah storage project tell us about the West's energy landscape.
Is Denver the Houston of the Rockies — again?
Is Denver the Houston of the Rockies — again?
Even greenie hotspots get their economic mojo from fossil fuels.
A cyclist's plea to motorists
A cyclist's plea to motorists
Cars are a deadly weapon and drivers need to take care.
Wacky Burning Man antics, a pop-up town and more
Wacky Burning Man antics, a pop-up town and more
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
Nevada wins the Tesla battery factory giga-race
Nevada wins the Tesla battery factory giga-race
Massive incentive package raises questions about corporate welfare.
Fracking Georgia O'Keeffe Country
Fracking Georgia O'Keeffe Country
Drill rigs pop up near Navajo communities, Chaco Canyon and the iconic Black Place.
Rural cops get militarized
Rural cops get militarized
Pentagon gives guns, armored vehicles and battlefield gear to rural Western counties.
Western state highways among the most dangerous in the nation
Western state highways among the most dangerous in the nation
New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada especially hazardous for pedestrians.
Recreational deaths soar this summer
Recreational deaths soar this summer
Grand Canyon and Colorado rivers have record year for deaths.
A test ride through Denver's light rail transit
A test ride through Denver's light rail transit
Expanding light rail gets high marks.
On the Wilderness Act's 50th, a backpack into the Weminuche
On the Wilderness Act's 50th, a backpack into the Weminuche
Author ponders Wilderness Act on its 50th birthday.
Efficiency lessons from Germany
Efficiency lessons from Germany
US nearly last place for efficiency.
The water-energy nexus could become a collision in a warming world
'A pimp in the family'
'A pimp in the family'
After years of being preyed upon by payday lenders, tribes get into the game themselves.
Want a walkable community? Start with the main drag
BP energy review reveals lingering addiction to fossil fuels
EPA carbon regulations will not destroy the electrical grid
Booms have a lasting impact on towns' architectural fabric