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Mark Jaffe

Special to The Colorado Sun

1 million Colorado buildings are threatened by wildfire. The risk is highest in suburban counties.

Modeling from group that tracks risk related to climate change reports that in the next 30 years, 19% more homes in Colorado will be threatened by wildfire, the largest increase in the U.S.


The curtain fell on Colorado’s arts scene during COVID. Can it dance back to life?

Denver’s major performing arts companies have, in fits and starts, been on a comeback season. But it is proving to be a long climb back.


Xcel Energy agrees to close Pueblo’s Comanche 3 coal plant by 2031

The closure of the Comanche 3 plant — Colorado’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions — would be the end of coal-fired electricity in the state


After long battle, 3 Colorado electric co-ops may renegotiate with Tri-State instead of leaving outright

Partial contracts keep the co-ops in the association while enabling them to purchase cheaper power and build local, renewable energy projects


Colorado Ballet’s new top dancers face their first test with notoriously difficult, rib-popping moves

Two of the Denver-based company’s newest principals gird for pass-fail moves in George Balanchine’s challenging modern classic “Theme and Variations,” opening Friday


United Power should be able to leave Tri-State for less than a tenth of a proposed $1.6B exit fee, federal report says

An energy economist for Tri-State's federal regulator called the energy association's exit-fee calculations flawed and unreasonable.


Xcel Energy to raise residential electric bills by 6.4% in April, two more rate increases loom

Add a request to recoup costs from a weather-related price spike in 2021 and an increase tied to rising costs of gas and the total is $16.50 more a month.


Colorado rejects Xcel Energy’s attempt to extend the life of Pueblo’s coal plant by 12 more years

Comanche 3, which has been shut down by equipment failures since Jan. 28, is schedule to permanently close in 2034 


Kerr-McGee’s plan to drill oil and gas wells within 2,000 feet of homes in Firestone is rejected by regulators

Colorado’s largest producer can return with a revised plan, but advocacy groups are relieved the hard-fought buffer rule is preserved. For now.


Broomfield’s “best practices” for oil and gas are held up as a model. But they don’t curb neighbors’ complaints.

Colorado oil and gas regulators say Broomfield-style mitigation is the key to greenlighting drilling at Kerr-McGee’s McGavin pad within 2,000 feet of Firestone homes


Western Slope county rejects solar project over fear of losing a sliver of farmland

Delta County commissioners denied a rural electric co-op’s zoning request for 472-acre solar field


Colorado’s curious case of a crypto mine that no one is really sure exists

Bitcoin miners are in a frenzy to find new homes after China banned the activity — and they’re bringing their energy problems with them everywhere they go


Colorado regulators overhaul rules to ensure there’s money to clean up orphan wells

Commissioners say the rule overhaul reduces the risk to the state. Environmental groups say they’re so complicated, it’s impossible to tell if that’s true.


Xcel Energy rate hikes would raise utility bills up to $18 per month. And they’re not done yet.

3 requests before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission seek to recoup nearly $1 billion from customers, including the cost of buying gas during winter storms in 2021


Colorado’s largest driller still wants to put wells within 2,000 feet of homes, but offers some concessions

Regulators tabled their decision after Colorado’s largest oil and gas producer says it will meet some health department demands and pay to monitor emissions.


Colorado’s largest oil and gas producer wants permission to drill closer than 2,000 feet from homes

A subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum wants exclusion from the state’s 2,000-foot buffer to drill 26 wells near 87 homes in Firestone. Critics say it would render new oil and gas rules useless. 


Colorado to request $25M in federal aid to help clean up its more than 1,200 orphan wells

The Department of Interior is handing out nearly $1.4 billion to states across the U.S. to help clean up abandoned oil and gas wells. Texas got the largest grant, at nearly $108 million.


When Colorado oil and gas wells are sold to small companies, can the new owners afford the cleanup costs?

The shuffling of wells from big operators to much smaller ones increases the risk that they will be orphaned and left for the state to clean up, regulators and environmental groups fear.


An oil and gas company wants to plug four idle wells. The wells could end up owned by a troubled Colorado operator instead.

While Colorado’s oil and gas commission overhauls its rules on financial assurance and transfers, the COGCC director says, as a regulator, it’s “not involved in the business of the transfer.”


Colorado oil and gas wells are constantly changing hands. Some risk becoming costly “orphans” along the way.

Since 2017, more than 42,000 oil and gas properties have been bought or sold in Colorado. If they fall into the wrong hands, they risk ending up abandoned, leaving the state on the hook for cleanup.

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