Trump Administration

Southern Utah’s red rock desert is home to towering canyons and the clear, shallow Escalante River. It’s also home to many ancient petroglyphs. Jonathan Paklaian is trying to find one along the banks of the river. He scrambles along a cliff wall until he spots it — a petroglyph he says was drawn more than 800 years ago by the Indigenous Fremont people. 

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

A prominent climate change denier resigned from the White House Friday after he was blocked from establishing a committee questioning the findings of the most recent national climate assessment. 

Colorado Attorney General's Office / coag.gov

Colorado's Attorney General Phil Weiser is joining a lawsuit with 12 other states aimed at blocking a new rule from the Trump administration that seeks to redefine terms on public assistance when it comes to granting legal status to immigrants.

Recent statements by Census Bureau and Justice Department officials have raised the question of whether the Trump administration plans to diverge from more than two centuries of precedent in how the country's congressional seats and Electoral College votes are divvied up.

The Trump administration is seeking to fine some immigrants, who are in the United States illegally, hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to take steps to leave after being ordered to do so, according to government documents obtained by NPR.

The Department of Homeland Security sent out a batch of notices across the country to targeted individuals ordering them to pay fines of up to nearly $500,000 for "failing to depart the U.S. as previously agreed," among other factors.

Mold. Leaks. Rodents. Crime. These are just some of the things the nation's 2 million public housing residents have to worry about. Many of the buildings they live in have been falling into disrepair for decades. Public housing officials estimate that it would cost $50 billion to fix them up.

But the Trump administration wants to eliminate the federal fund now used to repair public housing in favor of attracting more private investment to fix up and replace it.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives called Thursday for special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to be made public when it is completed.

The vote is not legally binding, but it represents the growing pressure from both sides of the aisle on the Justice Department to disclose as much of the report as possible.

The Trump administration is assembling a panel to take a second look at recent federal climate change reports.

The parents sat stiffly; some had clearly been crying. Their children, largely oblivious, scribbled with crayons on the carpeted floor of a Denver immigration court. In a matter of months, the judge before them will make 71 life-changing decisions.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice instructed ten immigration courts around the country to speed up cases of families seeking asylum on U.S. soil. In Denver, that directive is being carried out in a series of group hearings, designed to decide cases in less than a year.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

Jeff Sessions, the president's earliest and most fervent supporter in Congress, resigned under pressure as attorney general on Wednesday after brutal criticism from the president, bringing an abrupt end to his controversial tenure as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

Sessions noted in his resignation letter to the president that he was stepping down "at your request."

It's a bright, cloudless day in Gillette, Wyoming as a long train passes by overflowing with coal. Huge, open-pit mines dot the perimeter of a light-blue coal-fired power plant. Inside, a turbine is making the building rumble with its constant hum of producing electricity. It's supplying power to the entire western grid.

The Trump administration announced a new rule on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, called the ‘Affordable Clean Energy Rule.’ It would put regulatory power in states’ hands.

The Obama administration had previously tried to enact something called the Clean Power Plan, which was considered the country’s primary strategy for lowering emissions to meet its 2030 target under the Paris climate agreement.

The governors of neighboring Western states shared a stage Tuesday to talk about energy. Utah Republican Gary Herbert and Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper agreed about many issues — until they were asked afterward about the Trump administration. That's when it became clear they have contrasting views on how the federal government is listening to the states.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is weighing a new round of economic sanctions against Russia for its backing of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The proposed sanctions follow U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria's chemical weapons capability and President Trump's promise that Assad and his allies, namely Moscow, would pay a "big price" for enabling the use of chemical weapons.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for an investigation into the National Park Service, pointing to a report they say follows a "pattern" of censoring scientists who study climate change. So I checked in with the scientist who wrote the latest report and is now worried about her future.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a 200 percent spike in illegal border crossings in March compared with a year ago "a dangerous story" as she pressed lawmakers Wednesday to provide funding for President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to push for approval of the Trump administration's $47.5 billion FY 2019 budget request for her department, which includes $18 billion for the border wall.

Updated at 9:58 p.m. ET

President Trump believes Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has gone too far in his probe of potential ties between Trump's campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

Her statement to reporters did little to tamp down speculation that Trump may seek to fire Mueller — an authority that Sanders says Trump enjoys.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday for the deployment of National Guard troops along the Southern border with Mexico in a bid to cut down on illegal immigration.

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said earlier in the day that Trump's order would direct her department and the Pentagon to work with governors of the states along the Southwestern border.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump says he wants to use military troops to help secure the U.S. border with Mexico. He made the suggestion Tuesday during a White House summit meeting with Baltic leaders.

Trump also renewed his call for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria. And he expressed support for embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Since the weekend, Trump has been tweeting about a caravan of Central Americans, most of them from Honduras, who are making their way north through Mexico.

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.

Officials from the U.S., Mexico and Canada met Wednesday to begin renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In an opening statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer praised President Trump for the fact that these negotiations were even happening.

"American politicians have been promising to renegotiate NAFTA for years, but today, President Trump is going to fulfill those promises," he said.

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It is unclear how the Trump administration's freezing of grants and awards from the Environmental Protection Agency will impact programs in Colorado.

We talked with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Luke Perkins from the Durango Herald about how politicians are reacting—and working together—in the face of potential funding losses.