Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Rockies Today, Feb. 22

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

U.S. Supreme Court sides with PPL Montana in riverbed rental case
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision today that overturned a Montana Supreme Court decision that said PPL Montana owed the state millions of dollars for rent on the riverbeds on which the utility's hydroelectric dams sit.
Bloomberg.com; Feb. 22

Utah legislation would wrest control of public lands from federal government
On Tuesday, the Utah House Natural Resources Committee approved a package of bills designed to put federal lands under state control and give the state permitting authority on a wide range of activities on those lands, including mining, logging and recreation.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 22

Canadian researchers say point of oilsands report was climate change warning
Canadian climate scientist Neil Swart and climatologist Andrew Weaver said their recent report that compared emissions from oilsands, coal and natural gas wasn't meant to promote oilsands over fossil fuels, but rather to get the world moving on regulating those fossil fuels because of the impact burning them is having on climate change.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 22

Alberta wildlife officers killed 145 black bears in 2011 in oilsands country
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development said wildlife agents shot and killed 68 black bears last year in oilsands camps and facilities that were attracted to the area by garbage, and another 51 were killed in residential areas.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 22

Utah bill would tax small, urban farms at agricultural rate
Utah Sen. Wayne Niederhauser's Senate Bill 122 would allow urban farms five acres in size to pay property taxes at the "green-belt" level, and urban farms between two and five acres in size to be allowed to pay the lower tax rate as well, if farmers can meet certain production levels and provide proof that they are selling what they produce at a profit.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 22

Christo again pushes back date for art installation along Colorado river
The artist Christo has been working on his plan to drape nearly six miles of fabric along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado since the 1990s, and the installation date has bee pushed back several times, with the latest postponement coming Tuesday, with the announcement that the project will be done in August 2015.
Denver Post; Feb. 22

Kinder Morgan to decide on Alberta-B.C. pipeline expansion next month
The open season on Kinder Morgan's proposal to double the capacity of its Trans Mountain oil pipeline that runs from Alberta's oilsands country to ports in Burnaby, B.C., ended last week with enough commercial commitments to back the expansion, and the company said it would make a final decision on the expansion by the end of March.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 22

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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