Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana Energy conference opens to a full house in Billings
The Expo Center in Billings sold out on the first day of the Montana Energy 2012 conference, where oil reigned supreme, but there was also room for wind, solar and coal.
Billings Gazette; April 4
At Montana energy conference, economist touts impact of coal industry
Although oil received the lion's share of attention on the first day of the Montana Energy 2012 conference in Billings, Patrick Barkey, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana in Missoula, did his best to draw attention to the financial benefit developing the state's Otter Creek coal tracts would bring.
Billings Gazette; April 4
Obama administration rolls out plan to streamline public land drilling permits
On Tuesday, new procedures were put in place at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to allow the processing of permits to drill for energy on public lands within a 60-day time period, and to have those processes up and running by May of next year.
Helena Independent Record (AP); April 4
USFS withdraws approval of coal mining project in Utah
After groups appealed the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a lease that would have allowed Arch Coal subsidiary Ark Land Co. to mine coal on 6,175 acres of land beneath the Fishlake and Manti-La Sal national forests in Utah, the U.S. Forest Service withdrew that permit and will conduct additional environmental analysis of the project.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 4
Buzz builds at second annual develop.idaho
Last April, the Idaho Technology Council launched develop.idaho to tackle problems hindering software development companies in the state, and this year's develop.idaho drew 400 entrepreneurs, developers and university students.
Idaho Statesman; April 4
U of Montana researchers find sage grouse near extinction in NE Wyoming
A study conducted by three University of Montana biologists on sage grouse populations in Wyoming's Powder River Basin found that the species is just one West Nile virus outbreak or severe weather event away from extinction, but the Bureau of the Land Management took exception to the study, which did not track the impact predators are having on the species.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 4
Montana governor at National Bison Range pitching Yellowstone bison transfer
Gov. Brian Schweitzer met with Interior and Fish and Wildlife Services officials at the National Bison Range on Tuesday, where the Montana governor again offered to transfer bison from Yellowstone National Park to the bison range, after his initial offer was turned down months ago.
Missoulian; April 4
Federal judge tosses Colorado's law taxing internet sales
A law passed in Colorado in 2010 attempted to collect sales tax on online sales to state residents came to be known as the "Amazon Tax," and the law was temporarily suspended by a federal court decision last year, but the ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn on Friday permanently blocked the law.
Denver Post; April 4
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