U.S. rolls out proposed regulations to make shipping oil by rail safer
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation released proposed regulations designed to make shipping oil by rail safer, which include a measure to phase in the use of new tank cars, although the design of the new cars is still being hammered out; including ethanol in the regulations; and requiring trains with 20 or more cars of oil to travel at a lower speed.
Flathead Beacon (AP); July 24
Wildfire season in the West heats up after slow start
On Wednesday, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said he expects the latter half of wildfire season in the West will push the agency beyond the $1 billion budgeted for fighting wildfires.
Ravalli Republic (AP); July 24
Study finds new Clean Air Act rule would boost Texas, Okla. economies
A study done by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group of the proposed federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions found that Texas and Oklahoma, whose elected officials have been the most vocal opponents against the rule, would see the most economic gain, given the natural gas production in those states, while Wyoming, the top coal-producing state in the union, would face the largest economic hit.
New York Times; July 23
USFS expands ban on use of exploding targets in 5 western states
Due to continued drought and concerns about wildfire risks and public safety, a ban on the use of exploding targets on U.S. Forest Service lands in southern Idaho, southwestern Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and a small portion of eastern California went into effect on Wednesday and will remain in effect through July 22, 2015.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); July 24
Colorado PUC holds first workshop on Xcel's net-metering credit
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has scheduled three workshops to gather public comment on Xcel Energy's proposal to end the net-metering credit for customers of Colorado's largest utility who feed unused power from their rooftop solar installations back into the grid, and the first one began at 10 a.m. today in Denver at the PUC's headquarters.
Denver Post; July 24
Utah groups criticize utility's 'net-metering' plan for Utah solar power producers
On Monday, the Utah Public Service Commission will take testimony on Rocky Mountain Power's proposal to charge customers that feed electricity produced from their home or business solar-power installations back into the grid a monthly $4.65 "net-metering" fee, and on Wednesday, religious and business groups spoke out against the proposal.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 24
BLM tries again to raise fees for inspections of oil, gas wells
The Bureau of Land Management is again asking Congress to raise fees for oil and gas well inspections, but a report issued earlier this year that found many high-risk wells had not been inspected as required may make the third request successful.
Casper Star-Tribune; July 24
Montana DEQ gets hundreds of comments on proposed copper mine
A decision on the application from a subsidiary of Tintina Resources to drill exploratory wells near White Sulphur Springs to plumb copper deposits in that area of Montana is expected from the state Department of Environmental Quality within a few weeks.
Missoulian (AP); July 24
Canadian cooperative buys cheese company in Idaho
Minnesota-based Davisco Foods International announced it had sold the Jerome Cheese Company in Idaho to Agropur, a cooperative owned by more than 3,500 Canadian dairy farmers, with the deal set to be finalized Aug. 1.
Twin Falls Times-News; July 24
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.