Groups file federal lawsuit challenging Interior Dept.'s solar plans
Western Lands Project, the Western Watersheds Project and the Desert Protective Council filed a federal lawsuit in California on Wednesday challenging the federal government's creation of solar energy zones on federal lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, arguing that the federal government should have considered placing large-scale solar-energy projects in already developed areas.
Deseret News; Feb. 14
Coal company with lofty port plans in U.S. has heavy debt burden
Seattle-based Sightline.org researched Ambre Energy, the Australian company that has just recently bought into a coal venture in the United States and has launched plans to build two coal export terminals on the Pacific Northwest coast, and found that the company has been losing money on risky energy ventures since 2005, and lost $65 million in 2012 alone.
Portland Oregonian; Feb. 14
Wyoming firm to export Montana coal through Washington state port
Cloud Peak Energy Inc. announced it had signed a contract to ship up to 16 million metric tons of coal pulled from its mine in Montana through the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal on the coast of Washington state, which is estimated to be up and running by 2018.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 14
Colorado county mulls moratorium on shale-oil-well development
Houston-based Swift Energy Resources has applied for permits to drill two shale-oil wells in western La Plata County, the first ever of such wells in the Colorado county, and local officials are contemplating putting a moratorium on such development to give the county time to examine how the wells will affect water resources and roads, as oil-shale wells require millions of gallons more water to be drilled and that water would have to be trucked to the drill sites.
Durango Herald; Feb. 14
Report warns Alberta about costs of rising electricity rates
In a report prepared for the Alberta Utilities Commission, industry experts warned that recovering the costs of building transmission lines could more than double megawatt-hour costs by 2018, which may push companies that use a lot of electricity out of the province.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 14
Montana governor signs wolf management bill into law
On Wednesday, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 73 into law that makes a number of changes to the state's wolf hunting policies.
Missoulian; Feb. 14
Wyoming House shoots hunting-with-silencers bill to governor
The Wyoming House voted 44-14 on Wednesday to pass legislation that allows hunters to use silencers, and sent the bill to Gov. Matt Mead for action.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 14
OSHA proposes $14K fine for firefighter death in Idaho
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association for violating eight of the 10 Standing Firefighting Orders when managing the Steep Corner Fire in Idaho near Orofino where a 20-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter was struck and killed by a falling tree.
Idaho Statesman (KLEW-TV); Feb. 14
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.