Items by Jonathan Thompson
Despite recent headlines, the "drill baby drill" method isn't getting us close to breaking our dependence on foreign oil
In all the fuss about fracking, the many other problems caused by rampant oil and gas development are being overlooked.
A two-year planning process in La Plata County, Colorado gets hijacked by activists suspicious of United Nations influence. And in the West and nationwide, they're not alone.
The word "fracking" has great PR value for environmental activists, but it seems to be completely taking over the debate over oil and gas development.
Fire and flood, snowstorms and droughts, downburst winds and desert haboobs -- 2011 brought incredibly wacky weather to the West.
As the West's population and real estate boom stumble to a halt, the once fast-growing Southwest is filled with foreclosed homes and undeveloped lots.
A Tea Party loss ironically helps Republican Dino Rossi's effort to unseat Sen. Patty Murray, while conflicting ballot measures seek to raise taxes on wealthy people or choke off all potential tax hikes.
John Kitzhaber, champion of land-use planning, is running for governor again -- and the Tea Party has failed to draw much attention.
Ultra-conservative anti-wolf Steve Pearce wants his old House seat back from Democratic oilman Harry Teague, and the next governor of New Mexico will be a woman.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries gun-play in his battle with Sharron Angle, and former poli-sci prof Dina Titus tries to keep her Nevada House seat out of Joe Heck's reach.
Colorado voters are almost evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and the nonaffiliated, including the Tea Party -- and a Salazar looks vulnerable.
California flashes back to the 1970s with campaigns to legalize marijuana and re-elect Jerry Brown as governor, while other key races are also sizzling hot.
When Obama plucked Janet Napolitano out of the governor's seat to run Homeland Security, he surrendered Arizona to the ultra-conservatives.
Leonard Burch, Sam Maynes, Bob Zahradnik and John Jurrius have all helped the Southern Utes build their energy empire.