David O. Williams

David O. Williams

David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance journalist based in EagleVail, Colorado. His work has appeared in more than 75 publications around the world and he owns and operates

‘Out of compliance’ Utah oil facility could keep polluting during environmental review

By: - November 22, 2023

A privately owned oil loading facility on public lands eight miles northwest of Price, Utah, has been operating out of compliance with state air-quality regulations for years, a state official recently confirmed to Colorado Newsline, and likely will continue to do so as it seeks approval from the federal government for a massive expansion to […]

Boebert challengers diverge on best use of public lands in western Colorado

By: - November 17, 2023

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. – The top two Democrats vying to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in the 2024 election have very different takes on her ardently pro-drilling battle with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Boebert opposes the agency’s pending national conservation rule and its plan for restricting natural gas production on large […]

Return of Vail-area passenger rail gains support among some leaders

By: - November 1, 2023

Avon Mayor Amy Phillips makes it clear she doesn’t think rail service will be revived through her town at the base of Beaver Creek ski area in her lifetime — and she makes it clear there are higher priorities, such as attainable housing, regional bus transit, child care and recruiting teachers. But if passenger rail […]

Colorado officials reshuffle Moffat Tunnel lease team as passenger rail push accelerates

By: - September 26, 2023

The state of Colorado has switched tracks on its Moffat Tunnel lease renegotiation, with the Colorado Department of Transportation taking the reins from the state’s Department of Local Affairs as the lead agency redoing the long-term deal that allows rail giant Union Pacific to use the state-owned tunnel. As first reported by Colorado Newsline in […]

In wake of oil train legal win, Colorado mountain towns dream of passenger rail

By: - August 30, 2023

While Eagle County officials and environmentalists have been high-fiving over their collective federal court win this month at least temporarily derailing a nearly $3 billion Utah oil train project — and Utah politicians have been fuming — other stakeholders in Colorado are girding for future battles and hoping passengers can replace petroleum along the line. […]

Campaign against more Colorado mountain freight trains advances in litigation and letters

By: - August 10, 2023

Elected officials in Glenwood Springs are quite certain of two realities facing the largest town between the Denver metro area and Grand Junction on Union Pacific’s Central Corridor rail line: Freight rail, especially for fossil fuels, is king. And climate change is an everyday reality. “Glenwood Springs is the poster child for climate change,” said […]

Oil-train opponents look to railroad’s expiring Moffat Tunnel lease for bargaining power

By: - July 28, 2023

State officials since last spring have quietly been reaching out to communities along Colorado’s main east-west rail line to gauge local sentiment as the state negotiates a new lease with rail giant Union Pacific, which pays $12,000 a year to send trains through the state-owned Moffat Tunnel. Union Pacific’s 99-year lease to use the 6.2-mile […]

Fast-tracked oil expansion plan in Utah said to threaten Colorado environment

By: - July 14, 2023

A proposal to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to expand the capacity of an oil transport facility on federal land west of Price, Utah, has caught the attention of Colorado officials and conservation groups opposed to increased oil train traffic along the Colorado River. The BLM is considering a plan from Coal Energy Group […]

Outdoor recreation, tourism, energy industries in Colorado nervously eye debt-limit deal

By: - May 30, 2023

AVON, Colo. — Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to the summer tourism season in Colorado’s high country, where cities and counties heavily reliant on outdoor recreation dollars on huge swaths of federally owned land are nervously watching Congress wrangle over the debt ceiling. About a third of Colorado is owned and managed by the […]

Billionaire Colorado landowner no longer pursuing Tennessee Pass rail line

By: - May 4, 2023

MINTURN, Colo. — A billionaire New York developer and Colorado agricultural landowner who launched a full-blown railroad war in his pursuit of Union Pacific’s dormant Tennessee Pass rail line from Pueblo to Eagle County is no longer trying to acquire any part of the approximately 200-mile stretch of tracks. “Mr. Soloviev has no further interest […]

She grew up in mountain mobile home parks. Now she’s running a bill to fix their foul water.

By: - April 17, 2023

EDWARDS, Colo. — When Elizabeth Velasco first moved to Colorado from San Francisco del Rincón, Mexico, she was a teenager living in a series of aging mobile home parks in Eagle County — very near the tony ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, but also very far removed. As a 15-year-old, Velasco says she […]

Colorado lawmakers seek suspension of Utah oil train project

By: - March 6, 2023

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado on Monday wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to formally suspend federal authorization of a Utah rail project that will send up to five, two-mile-long oil trains a day along the Colorado River, under the Continental Divide at Winter […]