Montana land board OKs pipeline, transmission line easements
The Montana State Land Board voted Monday to approve easements across state lands for the Montana-Alberta Tie Line, a transmission line that will carry wind-produced power from near Great Falls to Lethbridge, and for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry Alberta crude south to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Dec. 18
BNSF picks new route for rail spur to coal fields in SE Montana
BNSF Railway, Arch Coal Inc. and billionaire Forrest Mars Jr. proposed a new route for a rail line to hook up service from Montana coal fields to an existing rail line in Colstrip that would be shorter than the route previously proposed and would avoid a fish hatchery in Miles City.
Billings Gazette (AP); Dec. 17
USFS rolls out mountain pine beetle attack plan in NE Wyoming
Black Hills National Forest officials said the Mountain Pine Beetle Response Project will treat 248,000 acres of the 1.2-million-acre forest in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota to address mountain pine beetle infestations.
Casper Star-Tribune (Rapid City Journal); Dec. 18
Wyoming Supreme Court rejects wind farm challenge
On Monday, the Wyoming Supreme Court rejected the Northern Laramie Range Alliance's challenge of permits issued by Converse County and the state for two wind farms on the Laramie Range, but the group vowed to continue its fight against the wind farms.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Dec. 18
Alberta landowners lose appeal of transmission line decision
On Monday, the Alberta Court of Appeal rejected the appeal of two landowners in Strathcona County who sought to stop the construction of the $610-million Heartland transmission line, because they said it was not needed.
Edmonton Journal; Dec. 18
Chobani plant in Idaho provides jobs, market for dairy farmers
At the grand opening of the Chobani Greek yogurt plant in Twin Falls on Monday, founder Hamdi Ulukaya said that the company was attracted to Idaho because of its relatively cheap power, an available supply of milk, the state's water, and the people.
Idaho Statesman; Dec. 17
Colorado oil, gas industry sues Longmont over hydraulic fracturing ban
On Monday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit against Longmont over its ban on the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing within the Colorado city, alleging that the ban is an illegal taking of mineral rights and that it blocks a process allowed under state law.
Denver Post; Dec. 18
Colorado communities fractured by oil, gas drilling disputes
The regulation of oil and gas operations is increasingly on the agenda of communities in Colorado, where some cities and counties have decided to put their one regulations in place, and the debate on such regulation has become increasingly heated.
Denver Post (AP); Dec. 18
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.