Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Rockies Today, March 27

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana economist says it's time for deep cuts to farm aid
The U.S. House Budget Committee is pursuing a $30-billion cut to agricultural programs, about $7 billion more than the House and Senate Agricultural committees are considering, and Vince Smith, a Montana State University economist, said the time has come to drastically reduce aid to farmers and ranchers.
Billings Gazette; March 25

Colorado wildfire continues to burn out of control, one person dead
Colorado officials have not yet determined what killed a victim found in an area burned by a wildfire in an area west of Denver that was 10 acres in size on Monday evening and had been pushed by high winds to 3,000 acres by Tuesday morning by high winds.
Denver Post; March 27

Critics say USFS's new planning rule more burdensome than last
U.S. Forest Service Tom Tidwell said Monday that the agency's new planning rule will be more streamlined, less burdensome and will save the USFS money, but critics said the new process is clunkier than the last and offers wildlife less protection.
Missoulian; March 27

EPA orders 3 oil companies to pay costs of moving water wells
A plume of contamination moving out of the East Poplar oil field in Montana is threatening the town of Poplar's water supply, and the Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with three oil companies operating in that field to pay the town $320,000 to cover costs of moving water wells out of the plume's path.
Great Falls Tribune; March 27

Groups sue Wyoming over hydraulic-fracturing rules
Three environmental groups and a policy watchdog group filed a lawsuit in state district court against the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, alleging that the commission's exemption of public disclosure of some chemicals used in the hydraulic-fracturing drilling process is too lenient, with the commission granting 50 of the 52 exemptions sought under the trade-secret provision of the rules.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 27

Colorado county approves massive solar-plant
The Saguache County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve SolarReserve's proposed 6,200-acre solar-energy installation in Colorado's San Luis Valley, where three smaller solar farms are already in operation.
Denver Post; March 27

Census data: Utah 9th most urbanized state in union
According to data obtained through the 2010 Census, 90 percent of Utahns live in urban areas, making the Beehive State more urbanized than New York, Illinois and Connecticut.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 27

Government help needed to build world's existing coal-to-liquids plants
As DKRW Advanced Fuels continues its quest to build a coal-to-gasoline plant in Wyoming, a review of existing plants to convert coal to liquid fuel in South Africa and China reveal that government aid was needed to get them built.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 27

Mountain West 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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