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Michael Booth

Michael Booth is a Colorado Sun reporter covering health, health policy and the environment.

Booth site profile

Stingy car electrification plan by Black Hills Energy drives Pueblo inequity, advocates say

Southern Colorado utility’s first required Transportation Electrification Plan offers far fewer public benefits than Xcel’s in a place that needs it much more, the groups say.


Smells like a fossil fuel. Works like a fossil fuel. But these Colorado stations pump a gas with emissions less than zero.

Fleets that use renewable natural gas created by landfill methane, manure and sewage treatment qualify for clean fuel subsidies and capture damaging greenhouse gases.


Ozone plagues Colorado’s Front Range, state report says, but bids to change it are elusive

Air pollution officials wrap up the “ozone year” with a dire look at summer of ‘21 and rising three-year averages, with little hope for better in near future.


New projections for low Colorado River flows speed need for dramatic conservation

Conservation groups say revised Bureau of Reclamation predictions are welcome realism showing Colorado needs to save water now.


Colorado may have more sites with dangerous “forever chemicals” than any other state

A new analysis of an EPA database shows demand for PFAS in fracking and other industries puts Front Range at the top of the contamination list.


Rivian electric vehicle chargers are not coming to Colorado parks anytime soon

The EV maker had pledged to start installing public chargers at every state park starting in July, at no cost to government, but officials haven’t finished an agreement yet.


Colorado air pollution director Garry Kaufman reassigned after conflict of interest investigation

A special investigator found a failure to report professional conflict and raised questions about Colorado’s pollution modeling. Kaufman is moved to a newly-created job less than a month later.


Colorado “nutrition labels” on construction materials will flag carbon instead of fat, salt and sugar

A new law on “embodied carbon” puts the state in the vanguard of those demanding to know how much CO2 was produced while crafting key building materials like cement and asphalt.


Denver voters passed a green roof law in 2017. Years later, the gardens have yet to sprout.

Voter-backed push for green rooftops and efficiency to combat climate change was broadened to ease builder concerns, but actual projects take time to materialize.


Denver’s climate change “czar” has a mission and millions of dollars to start carrying it out

A vote to boost sales taxes to combat greenhouse gas emissions hands a big fund to the climate change office, which has equally big goals on changing everything from building structure to recycling habits.


Polis administration pushing green agenda, but isn’t objecting to coal mine royalty cuts worth millions

Despite stated federal and state policy to phase out the dirty fossil fuel across the economy, all of Colorado’s coal mines got lucrative 2020 royalty breaks, costing local and national governments big money.


Whistleblowers raised valid concerns about Colorado air pollution monitoring, probe finds, but problems were unintentional

An independent investigation commissioned by the Attorney General also says boss of Air Pollution Control Division should have disclosed his prior work for Newmont Corp. when a pollution permit for a Teller County mine came before him.


Your definitive – for now – Q&A for electric vehicles in Colorado

What you need to know about how to pick an EV, what subsidy you might get, where to charge it, what “range anxiety” means, and how Coloradans are totally geeking out on their statistics.


WHO says air pollution caps should be much tougher in Colorado, U.S.

Influential world health monitor issues strict guidelines calling for steep cuts to ozone and particulate PM2.5 emissions in Front Range counties that saw sharp spikes in both this past summer.


Xcel Energy’s new electric vehicle incentives include used-car rebates, wiring homes for chargers

Colorado’s dominant utility wins praise for expanding access to electrification at home. They have new and used EV rebates based on income, and will help in buying a faster charger and getting it wired safely


SCL Health to merge with Intermountain Health, creating not-for-profit hospital giant in West

Owner of Colorado’s St. Joseph, Good Samaritan and Lutheran is the smaller partner in the mix, which creates a network of 33 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across six states


Climate change isn’t coming in the future, it’s already here. This is how it’s impacting your everyday life.

Choking on ozone spikes, losing favorite hiking spots like Hanging Lake, sweating through fall school days — climate change is now.


Colorado consumer advocates ask utility commission to reject $130M of Xcel’s February storm surcharge

The mid-February deep freeze sent natural gas prices soaring, but critics say the utility ignored warnings to store more gas and could have substituted cheaper fuel oil.


Can anyone keep climate-friendly homes off the gas grid? A community in Arvada is trying.

Arvada’s Geos community neighbors are all-electric and don’t want the next new homes to burn fossil fuels. But is there anything they can do to stop it?


These images from space show how much the reservoirs and lakes of the West have dried up

Satellite views four years apart from a chronicler of the world's largest lakes show the startling effects of the Western mega-drought.

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