Bente Birkeland

Capitol Coverage Reporter

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for Rocky Mountain Community Radio stations, including KVNF, since 2006. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May, covering important bills, discussions, and the positions of our state legislators. Key stories for KVNF listeners she has covered this year include the state budget, proposed oil and gas legislation, and the passage of the Cottage Foods Act.

Pages

NEWS
6:09 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Hickenlooper Speaks To 2014 Legislative Agenda

The Governor addresses the media Thursday looking ahead to the 2014 legislative session.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

Read more
NEWS
9:14 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Following Arapahoe, Lawmakers Reflect On Gun Laws

A sign of the intense debate, gun advocates wait outside the capitol's largest hearing room because the room is full, March 4, 2013.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Once again, Colorado lawmakers are heading into a legislative session following a school shooting.

Read more
NEWS
8:47 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Colorado Approves Stronger Oil And Gas Spill Reporting

A drilling rig seen in Western Colo. on the Piceance Basin, Aug. 2010.
John Giez Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:48 am

Colorado is beefing up requirements for reporting oil and gas spills. The new rule would require energy companies to report spills that are over 1 barrel or 42 gallons.

Read more
NEWS
9:55 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Following A Turbulent Year, Colorado Lawmakers Unsure What 2014 Holds

The Colorado Senate chamber, seen in a budget debate in 2011. Members are hoping to put the past in the past and work together, but post-recall shake-ups and an election year could make that difficult.
Colorado State GOP Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:40 am

When Colorado lawmakers return in January, the makeup of the state Senate will be different. Coming off a tumultuous off session with two first-ever recalls and a resignation can do that. The state’s Democrats now have a new Senate President and only a one-seat hold on the majority.

Read more
NEWS
8:53 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Private Gun Sales See Effect From New Background Check Law

Bill Bradford Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:33 am

Democratic state lawmakers say a new law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases is working well. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows 2 percent of private gun sales were blocked because of the law.

Read more
NEWS
11:15 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Colorado Oil And Gas Lawsuits Draw Critical Response

A drilling site near homes outside of Mead, Colo. in Aug. 2012.
Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 3:31 pm

Colorado’s energy industry trade group is now involved on three fronts with lawsuits over voter approved fracking bans or moratoriums. The latest move involved the announcement of suits against Lafayette and Fort Collins.  

Read more
NEWS
12:51 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Post-Election, Oil And Gas Industry Steps Up Outreach

Governor Hickenlooper explains a new rule he's proposing to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. Two of the companies behind the effort, Anadarko and Noble Energy have recently created a public education outreach organization on fracking.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Colorado’s Energy industry is continuing to make the case that hydraulic fracturing is safe and a critical part of the state’s economy.

Read more
NEWS
12:56 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Ethics Complaint Against Hickenlooper Moves Forward

State of Colorado

Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission is moving forward to review an ethics complaint against Governor John Hickenlooper. The Governor’s office blasted the claim saying it has no merit.

Read more
NEWS
9:46 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Hickenlooper Proposes New Oil And Gas Air Quality Regulations

A drilling rig nestled in the greenspace between developments in Frederick, Colo., Aug. 2013.
Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Calling them ‘groundbreaking,’ Governor John Hickenlooper proposed new statewide air quality rules for oil and gas drilling Monday. The rules aim to reduce air pollution from methane emissions.

Read more
NEWS
9:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

As Hollywood Goes Digital, Colo. Hopes To Save Rural Theaters

The Sands Theater in Brush got a $20,000 grant from the state, and will need to come up with an additional $30,000 to convert digitally.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:18 pm

Theater projectors are going where most of the dazzling special effects in summer blockbusters have gone: All digital. In 2014, Hollywood will no longer release movies on traditional film stock. Theaters must convert or be forced to close – including those in rural Colorado.

Read more

Pages