Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rockies Today, Feb. 18

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

AP review finds more trains carrying crude pass through population centers
The number of tanker cars carrying oil in the United States has increased forty-fold since 2008, with derailments and other incidents increasing as well, and an Associated Press review of data from the United States and Canada found that those trains pass through population centers on their way from fields to refineries.
Helena Independent Record (AP); Feb. 18

Avalanches kill 9 over the past 10 days in the West
The past 10 days have put an end to what would have been one of the least deadly avalanche seasons in 16 years, with nine people dying in slides, boosting the total deaths this winter season to 15.
USA Today; Feb. 18

BNSF, Glacier Park in Montana work on a plan to address oil train incidents
Jeff Mow, the superintendent of Glacier National Park in Montana knows a thing or two about oil spills, having served as superintendent at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, and as a Department of Interior incident commander in 2010 during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and now he's working with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to have a hazardous materials plan in place to deal with oil trains that pass through the park.
Flathead Beacon; Feb. 16

Canadian oil refiner to convert railcars to meet new standards
Irving Oil officials said that all of its railcars will be retrofitted to meet U.S. safety standards for railcars built after Oct. 1, 2011 by the end of April this year, and the Canadian company is asking all of its suppliers to meet those standards by the end of this year.
Calgary Herald (Canadian Press); Feb. 18

Wyoming budget contains $500K to secure access to coal ports
The Wyoming Legislature got a first look at the state's proposed budget for the next two years that contained $500,000 for possible litigation to secure access to deep water ports on the West Coast of the United States to ship coal to overseas markets.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Feb. 16

AP analysis finds Idaho agencies paid $30.56M on outside legal help
A review of documents obtained by the Associated Press from the Idaho State Controller's office found that, over the past three fiscal years, state agencies have paid outside law firms $30.56 million, due in part to the state attorney general's office not having the staff to do the work.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Feb. 18

Amtrak presses states to help keep L.A. to Chicago route running
The Southwest Chief route of Amtrak has been moving passengers between Chicago and Los Angeles since 1971, but if Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico don't respond to the railway's request that they each provide $40 million in funding to upgrade the tracks along the route, the passenger service may end.
New York Times; Feb. 18

Utah to trap, relocate antelope 'trapped' by urban sprawl
The 80 or so pronghorn antelope along the west shore of Utah Lake have been hemmed in by the suburban sprawl of Saratoga Springs, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has now begun trapping and moving the animals out of their inadvertent sanctuary.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 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.

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