Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Montana-Alberta Tie Line under federal scrutiny due to debt
After an audit of the Western Area Power Administration found that the marketing arm of the U.S. Department of Energy had loaned Canada-based Tonbridge Power $161 million, and that the 214-mile transmission line project was two years behind scheduled ad more than $70 million in debt, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General suggested federal loans for transmission projects be suspended.
Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 8
Inspector general launches investigation into Keystone XL pipeline decision
Harold W. Geisel, the senior official in the inspector general’s office, told State Department officials that an internal investigation would be made of decision made on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
New York Times; Nov. 8
Montana utility provides info on debt in bankruptcy filing
The Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, which provides power to five rural distribution cooperatives and the City of Great Falls, is seeking bankruptcy protection, and in documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court indicated that its debts exceeded its assets by $21.4 million.
Billings Gazette; Nov. 8
Federal appeals court hears arguments today on Idaho, Montana wolf hunts
Groups seeking to suspend wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana while a federal appeal on removing wolves from the endangered species list makes its way through the courts will argue their case before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today.
Ravalli Republic (AP); Nov. 8
Canada agrees to give B.C. mine a second look
The announcement that the federal government would again review the proposed Taseko Mines Ltd.'s $1.5-billion "New Prosperity" gold and copper mine in the interior of British Columbia, after the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency found more than a year ago that the mine would adversely impact the environment and First Nation lands, was met with a cascade of criticism.
Edmonton Journal; Nov. 8
Modified megaloads on the move in Montana
Imperial Oil has begun moving the massive pieces of equipment manufactured overseas from Pasco, Wash., which the company spent about half a million dolalrs each cutting down so they would fit under interstate overpasses, through Montana on Interstates 15 and 90 to Alberta.
Montana Standard; Nov. 8
Montana cavers to help in research project
Now that scientists have rooted out the cause of white-nose syndrome, a virus that has wiped out entire populations of bats in the Eastern United States, caves closed in Montana over concerns that human activity may spread the disease may re-open, and cavers in the state will be recruited to help set up monitoring equipment in caves.
Missoulian; Nov. 7
Montana congressman proposes land swap for ski slope Jesus
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg proposed a land swap that would trade the U.S. Forest Service parcel that contains a statue of Jesus, which was erected decades ago to honor veterans, to the Big Mountain resort, removing the statue from public lands.
Montana Standard (AP); Nov. 8
Headwaters News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.