Monday, November 14, 2011

The Rockies Today, Nov. 14

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Salazar suggests 18 areas that deserve federal protection
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the list of 18 backcountry areas in nine states that deserve federal protection are a starting point for discussions, but in Utah, where Desolation, Westwater and Mill Creek canyons in Grand County made the list, U.S. Reps. Jim Matheson and Rob Bishop said the federal government continues to ignore state concerns about public lands.
Deseret News; Nov. 11

Oil leases on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front being snatched up
With more than 90 percent of state lands sitting over the Bakken oil play in Eastern Montana already under lease for oil and gas development, companies are moving westward spending millions of dollars to buy leases in Glacier, Teton, Toole, Pondera, Cascade and Lewis and Clark counties, where some test wells have indicated Bakken's bounties extend under those counties.
Helena Independent Record; Nov. 13

USFWS to hold meeting on Wyoming wolf plan Nov. 15
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public meeting on the proposed wolf management plan for Wyoming in Riverton on Tuesday.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Nov. 12

EnCana taps into toxic aquifer for shale gas drilling in NE B.C.
Concerns about the copious amounts of water used in hydraulic fracturing, a drilling process that uses water, sand and chemicals to crack open rock formations holding natural gas hostage in northeastern British Columbia, Encana Corp. has tapped into a briny aquifer more than a half a mile underground, treating the water to reduce hydrogen sulfide to healthy levels, using the water in the drilling process, and then plans to contain the used water underground in glass and metal casks.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Nov. 14

EPA finds high levels of benzene in Wyoming groundwater
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not report a source for the high levels of benzene found in groundwater in Pavilion, a community in Wyoming where residents have claimed that the use of hydraulic fracturing had contaminated their drinking water wells.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Nov. 11

Government guarantees, policies assures renewable-energy profits
While much attention has been paid to the bankruptcy of California solar-panel maker, Solyndra, and the $528 million loan guarantee the federal government gave the company, less attention has been paid to the 16 other wind- and solar-energy projects that have been funded with billions of dollars of federal money that, when coupled with state tax incentives and ratepayer buy-ins, virtually guarantees large profits to companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, General Electric, Exelon and NRG.
New York Times; Nov. 12

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.

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