Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rockies Today, April 23

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Strategists predict Montana U.S. Sen. Baucus will not seek re-election
Two Democratic political strategists with knowledge of U.S. Sen. Max Baucus's plans said the Montana Democrat will retire rather than seek re-election in 2014.
Washington Post; April 23

Trustee of bankrupt Montana electric co-op says assets have little value
The court-appointed trustee for the Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative said the Highwood Generating Station power plant near Great Falls was worth about $5.6 million, less than a tenth of the $85 million borrowed to build the plant, and that the power contracts held by the utility were essentially worthless.
Great Falls Tribune; April 23

Open houses set this week in Utah on Wyoming-Nevada power line
Duke Energy and American Transmission Co. will hold open houses this week in St. George, Parowan and Milford, Utah communities near the route of the Zephyr Power Transmission Project, proposed to carry wind generated power from Wyoming 850 miles to Nevada's Eldorado Valley south of Las Vegas.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 23

Colorado senators introduce National Forest Insect, Disease Treatment Act
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet introduced the National Forest Insect and Disease Treatment Act, and his Colorado colleague, Sen. Mark Udall, joined as a co-sponsor on the bill that would require the U.S. Forest Service to address areas of forest affected by disease or insects where the dead and dying trees present a public safety risk or to public infrastructure.
Durango Herald; April 23

EIS completed on BLM, SITLA land swap in Utah
The federal government's completion of a draft environmental assessment of a plan to exchange 35,516 acres of federal lands in Utah with oil, gas and other development opportunities for 46,000 acres of state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration moves the deal closer to completion.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 23

Aerators set up on Colorado creek to help remove benzene from gas plant leak
Williams Co. crews continue to pump hydrocarbons from trenches dug near the company's natural gas processing plant, and have begun aerating Parachute Creek to address high benzene levels in that Colorado creek.
Denver Post; April 23

Leak sends tailings from Idaho phosphate operation into wetlands
Monsanto Co. reported on March 29 that an earthen holding pond at a phosphate mine in southeastern Idaho began leaking, sending an estimated 3 million gallons of water into an adjacent wetlands and creating a sediment plume 100 feet long, and the Bureau of Land Management has given Monsanto 60 days to come up with a proposal to deal with the incident as well as a plan to prevent such events in the future.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 23

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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