Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rockies Today, Feb. 7

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S. EPA, Montana raise concerns about B.C. coal mines
Plans to expand coal mines in British Columbia's Elk River Valley just across the border from Montana prompted warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as Montana's U.S. senators, who warned that the cumulative effect of expanded coal production could adversely impact water quality in the Kootenai-Koocanusa watersheds.
Vancouver Sun; Feb. 7

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Natural gas, location plays against Wyoming's coal industry
The low price of natural gas drew U.S. utilities to build more natural-gas power plants moving them away from coal-fired power, and prompted Wyoming coal producers to look overseas for markets, but the state's sub-bituminous coal has a major competitor in India, which has sub-bituminous coal, too, and is much closer to Asian markets.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 7

Washington, Oregon divided over coal export plans of Wyoming, Montana
With domestic consumption of Powder River Basin coal decreasing, miners in Montana and Wyoming want to send their coal overseas, but ports on the West Coast would need to be expanded or built to handle an increase in exports, and those proposals have divided Washington and Oregon, with supporters touting the economic benefits and opponents decrying the environmental effects.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 7

Utah, Colorado coal mines the moneymakers in Arch Coal's system
Arch Coal's three coal mines in Utah and its one mine in Colorado were top performers for the St. Louis-based company in the fourth quarter, during which it reported a $295-million loss.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 7

BLM withdraws leases in Colorado's North Fork Valley from auction
The Bureau of Land Management announced Wednesday that it defer the sale of leases on 20,000 acres of the North Fork Valley in Colorado, prompting applause from area residents who had asked the agency to update its resource management plan before selling the parcels, and criticisms from oil and gas operators, who said the deferral was another symptom of the Obama administration's reform of the leasing process.
Denver Post; Feb. 7

President Obama says Interior nominee knows conservation, jobs link
On Wednesday, when President Obama formally nominated Sally Jewell to succeed Ken Salazar as secretary of the Interior, Obama said Jewell's experience as an oil worker, as well as heading up Recreational Equipment, Inc., and her wide-ranging love of the outdoors makes her a prime candidate for the post.
Washington Post; Feb. 7

Babbitt criticizes Obama administration on land conservation
Bruce Babbitt, who was Interior secretary during the Clinton administration, criticized the Obama administration for land conservation efforts, citing the administration's leasing of federal lands for oil and gas development during Obama's first term.
Los Angeles Times; Feb. 7

Colorado survey finds infestation by one beetle slows, while another grows
Surveys of Colorado's forests in 2012 found that infestations of mountain-pine beetles had slowed down, but that spruce beetles had spread to more acres.
Aspen Times; Feb. 7

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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