Chase Woodruff

Chase Woodruff

Reporter Chase Woodruff covers the environment, the economy and other stories for Colorado Newsline.

Homelessness rising sharply in metro Denver as Mike Johnston’s plans take shape

By: - July 26, 2023

Data released this week shows homelessness in the Denver metro area rose sharply in 2022, as new Denver Mayor Mike Johnston begins to roll out an ambitious set of plans to provide housing to the city’s unsheltered population. The Metro Denver Homeless Initiative’s annual “point in time” count found 9,065 people living outdoors and in […]

No oil-train risk analysis performed, Union Pacific safety chief tells Colorado lawmakers

By: - July 25, 2023

The Union Pacific railroad’s top safety officer told Colorado lawmakers on Monday that the company hasn’t “specifically” analyzed the risks of increased traffic from a proposed Utah oil-train project. Rod Doerr, Union Pacific’s chief safety officer, spoke at a hearing of the General Assembly’s Transportation Legislation Review Committee, where he and other railroad executives faced […]

East Troublesome Fire

Record heat after wet spring elevates Colorado wildfire risk

By: - July 19, 2023

An unusually cool and rainy spring has given way to record-high summer temperatures in parts of Colorado — a trend that has state and federal officials concerned about elevated wildfire risks in the coming weeks and months. Wet conditions through the first half of 2023 have so far kept major wildfires in Colorado to a […]

Mike Johnston sworn in as Denver mayor

By: - July 17, 2023

For the first time in 12 years and just the fifth time since 1968, Denver has a new elected mayor. Former state lawmaker Mike Johnston was sworn in on Monday as the city’s 46th chief executive in an inauguration ceremony held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, with many of Colorado’s top elected officials, including […]

Weld County commissioner Scott James announces bid for Colorado’s 8th Congressional District

By: - July 13, 2023

Scott James, a Weld County commissioner, is launching a bid for Colorado’s newest and most competitive congressional seat. James announced his bid for the 8th Congressional District in a Twitter post on Wednesday. The district, which was created by Colorado’s independent redistricting commission following the 2020 census, is currently represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Yadira […]

Bennet, Hickenlooper tout Dolores River protections, CORE Act in Senate hearing

By: - July 12, 2023

Two bills that would establish or expand protections for nearly half a million acres of public lands across Colorado received a hearing in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday — though only one appears to have a clear path to passage in a divided Congress. U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both Colorado Democrats, are […]

EPA sued again by environmental groups over Colorado ozone plan approval

By: - July 10, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Colorado’s plans to tackle ozone pollution is again being challenged in court by environmental groups, who say state and federal officials are failing to sufficiently scrutinize oil-and-gas-related emissions at the core of the problem. The Center for Biological Diversity and 350 Colorado on Monday sued the EPA in the […]

Denver-area air quality board advances ‘soft’ ban on some gas-powered lawn equipment

By: - July 7, 2023

A panel of Denver-area local government officials and members of the public voted Friday to recommend a limited ban on the sale and commercial use of gas-powered lawn equipment by 2025, a move that it hopes will boost long-running efforts to combat ozone pollution in a nine-county region along the northern Front Range. After months […]

By the numbers: How much Utah oil trains would increase hazmat rail traffic in Colorado

By: - July 5, 2023

This much is clear: The Uinta Basin Railway, an 88-mile railroad extension proposed by a public-private partnership in eastern Utah, would dramatically increase the amount of hazardous materials being shipped through Colorado. Exactly how dramatic that increase would be, however, is a difficult question to answer. Virtually all major freight rail routes in Colorado — […]

The City: In Denver, oil trains hit a fork in the road to Colorado’s transportation future

By: - June 30, 2023

COAL CREEK, Colo. — As trains heading east from the Moffat Tunnel take one last sharp turn along a ridge near Eldorado Canyon State Park in Boulder County, the scenery changes abruptly. After traveling hundreds of miles east through narrow river gorges and rugged alpine forests, the Union Pacific’s Central Corridor through Colorado emerges at […]

Headwaters: At the Colorado River’s source, oil trains would pose risks to both sides of the Divide

By: - June 29, 2023

At 88 miles long, with a projected capacity of up to 350,000 barrels per day, eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin Railway would rank among the most ambitious efforts to haul crude oil by rail ever undertaken in the United States. But it’s not the largest ever considered. That label belongs to a proposed 580-mile, dual-track railroad […]

An aerial view of the Colorado River flowing through Glenwood Canyon.

The Canyons: Oil and water could mix in Colorado River country known for its beauty, fragility

By: - June 28, 2023

BURNS, Colo. — Beneath the limestone cliffs, the trunk of a lone, dead lodgepole pine stuck straight up from the brush along the riverbank, looming over a remote stretch of the Colorado River in northern Eagle County. Inside the train cars passing by on the opposite side of the river, a voice came over the […]