Homebrew: Danger in Colorado’s oil fields

Centers for Disease Control have identified a new risk associated with crude oil refineries. Eight have died including three in Colorado over the past five years.

Bad fumes

In five years, eight people have died at crude oil production tanks – three here in Colorado. “By late April, federal health officials had enough evidence to sound a national alarm over a dangerous trend in America’s oil fields,” writes Monte Whaley in The Denver Post. “The men died after inhaling toxic amounts of hydrocarbon chemicals after either tank gauging — measuring the level of oil or other byproducts in tanks coming out of wells — or from taking samples of oil for more testing.”

Hard education

The University of Colorado is one of many schools refusing to divest in fossil fuels. For campus climate-change activists, this is a bust. But does divestment actually hit the big oil and gas companies financially? Not really. So, what’s the point? Via The Denver Post.

Up in smoke

Think weed boosted Colorado’s economy? Maybe. But not for the 65 employees laid off by one of the state’s largest pot chains.  Via The Cannabist.

Punch and Cake

Happy Birthday, NORAD. The Cold War-era military command seems to be regaining new life, at 57, as the United States’ old rivalry with Russia has been reignited and domestic terrorists threaten military bases, reports The Gazette. The military facility under Cheyenne Mountain is shrouded in mystery and continues to captivate the public’s imagination – despite the fact that the whole operation feels a little dusty.

Barking dogs

Have you been hearing loud barking in Denver? Ah…that’s been watchdog City Auditor Dennis Gallagher, an unlikely politician who has used the books to keep city employees in check. Via Westword.

Dear Johns

The reason they call them “johns” in the United States is that it’s an everyman kind of name: Fort Collins recently has been running prostitution stings that target the customers for a change instead of the service providers. This week’s operation netted a prominent businessman and a Greeley High School teacher, who is also a Methodist pastor. The eight men arrested ranged in age from 28 to 52.  Via The Coloradoan.

Moose tracks

Guess whose coming to Grand Mesa? Moose. Grand Junction taxidermist Darryl Powell told The Sentinel, “It’s been great to watch.”

Lawn mooers

Dateline, 2015, Boulder County, Colorado: In the shadow of the Flatiron foothill range, on the grounds of the nation’s top high-tech atmospheric research center, cowboys this week will herd 130 or so black and red angus cattle. The herd will be left to devour 100 acres of tall dense oatgrass, an invasive non-native species brought from northern Europe by ranchers in the 1950s. Four or five cowpunchers on horseback will herd the livestock the last mile-long leg of their journey to the scenic spot. “City staffers strongly urge members of the public not turn out to witness the operation due to safety considerations. ’It’s a large herd… and it could be crossing trails at some point. If there are too many people, cows can be pretty unpredictable. They can spook easily.’” Via The Daily Camera.

Photo credit: Clay Junell, Creative Commons, Flickr.

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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