Week in review: February 3

What we’re reading this week.

 

These days, there's too much going on for our tiny newsroom in Paonia, Colorado, to cover. Between the wave of national news breaking that has huge implications for the West and the myriad pieces of important regional news, we have been hustling to just to keep up. But I don't want readers to miss the stories that shape our Western economies, landscape and lives. So, starting this week, we'll be sharing the stories we're reading and paying attention to, from around the region and the country. We hope you'll read them, too.Kate Schimel, Deputy Editor-Digital

Congress takes down Obama’s rules

On Friday, the Senate followed the House in killing rules, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which require resource extractors to disclose payments made to the U.S. or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. They did so using the Congressional Review Act, a once-obscure law which allows Congress to weigh in on any rule finalized after May 30 of this year. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to kill these four rules: 

These will go before the Senate, likely very soon, where they are not eligible for filibuster. That would make it hard for Democrats to fight them.

According to the Congressional Research Service, two dozen more rules are eligible for Congressional review. Read our piece from December on how Trump might undo Obama’s policies. If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of the Act and its implications, check out this Harvard Law Review explainer. 

Chaos at the EPA

Inside the agency where Washington state legislators are helping lead the transition and where internal memos reveal confusion:

The Guardian: Donald Trump is “taking steps to abolish” the Environmental Protection Agency

“President Trump said during the campaign that he would like to abolish the EPA or ‘leave a little bit’. It is a goal he has and sometimes it takes a long time to achieve goals. You can’t abolish the EPA by waving a magic wand.”

Crosscut: They railed against environmental regs. Now they’ll lead the EPA.

“Two of Washington state’s radical small-government lawmakers will soon be taking leading roles in shaping national environmental policy.”

Slate: How Trump transition officials are privately explaining the chaos at the EPA

“Emails obtained by Slate show that transition officials are blasting the media for the apparent disorder at the agency.”

The West’s own ‘Trump-like’ figure

Deseret News: Greg Hughes might be the most powerful man in Utah politics — if he could just stay out of trouble
“Two weeks before this year’s legislative session, Greg Hughes was in his office on Capitol Hill, carrying himself like a king holding court. As usual, the Utah speaker of the House was impeccably dressed, wearing one of his shirts monogrammed with his self-given nickname: LB — “Lucky Bastard.”

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz pulls his bill to transfer select federal lands and shared his mea culpa on Instagram:

High Country News Classifieds
  • SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    The National Parks Conservation Association, the nations leading national park advocacy organization, seeks a Regional Director to lead and manage staff for the Southwest Regional...
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • PROGRAM OFFICER, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, NOVO FOUNDATION
    The Foundation NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation...
  • ARMY OF THE DOG
    A new generation of monkey wrenchers hits the Front Range?
  • ANNIE CLARK TANNER FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    The Tanner Humanities Center and the Environmental Humanities Program of the University of Utah seek an environmental writer to offer classes in Utahs Environmental Humanities...
  • ALASKA STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) seeks an individual to lead this 45-year-old organization as executive director, to carry on ICLs work as Idahos leading voice...
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    Guardians is expanding and looking for a few great people to join us in protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health...
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    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
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    Ouray County, Colorado, a popular tourist destination, has dramatic mountains and amazing winter ice climbing. Challenging terrain and high altitude can push visitors to their...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
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    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Coordinator-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
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    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Manager-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, SOUTHERN CA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Southern CA. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • THE BOOK OF BARLEY -
    Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • TEMPORARY ASSISTANT EDITOR
    Are you a climber and a writer who is passionate about mountain literature? Do you love searching through old alpine journals for stories of esoteric...
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • RIVER TRIP LEADER & EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • RIVER GUIDE AND EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...