U.S. House passes bill to speed up drilling, another on hydraulic fracturing
On Wednesday, the U.S. House voted 228-192 to pass a measure to speed up federal permitting of oil and gas drilling operations that includes a required $5,000 fee for any group or person to protest a lease and would open the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, and approved another bill on a 235-to-187 vote that would prohibit the Interior Department from enforcing a proposed regulation on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in states that already have such a regulation in place.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Nov. 21
U.S. Senate panel to hear bill to protect Montana's Rocky Mountain Front
The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony on a number of bills at a hearing at 9:30 a.m., including Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus's Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which would add 67,112 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and designate another 208,000 acres as a Conservation Management Area, and the Rural Water Projects Completion Act, introduced by Baucus and Sen. Jon Tester, that would set aside $80 million annually to fund rural water projects.
Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 21
Bill to protect Colorado watershed gets bipartisan support
At a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton joined with Colorado's two Democratic senators, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, to speak in support of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act, which would create a management plan for 108,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado.
Durango Herald; Nov. 21
Interested in a USFS map? There's now an app for that
The PDF Maps Mobile App, now available for Android and iOS devices, provides free access to Forest Service's motor-vehicle-use maps, and provides access to other Forest Service maps for a fee.
Helena Independent Record; Nov. 21
Montana, N.D. attorneys general urge limited review for coal export port
In a letter to the Washington Department of Ecology, an attorney hired by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, said that the state's review of the environmental effects of building a coal-export port in Longview not include the effects of burning coal in China, coal mining in neighboring states, or climate change.
Billings Gazette (Lee State Bureau); Nov. 21
Legalization of marijuana in U.S. states drops prices in British Columbia
The price of medicinal marijuana has declined in British Columbia since the use of marijuana became legal in both Washington state and Colorado.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Nov. 20
Utah legislators receptive to legalization of medical cannabis oil
Legislators on Utah's Health and Human Services and Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committees heard testimony on Wednesday on therapeutic cannabis, and while no draft legislation was on the table to legalize the extract, lawmakers were largely receptive to the concept.
Salt Lake Tribune; Nov. 21
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.