Monday, August 4, 2014

Rockies Today, August 4

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

EPA puts decision on coal-gasification project in Wyoming on hold
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that the federal agency needed more time to evaluate LincEnergy's proposal to pump oxygen underground in Wyoming to oxidize coal into gas, citing the finding of elevated benzene, ammonia and other contaminates in groundwater near the Australian company's similar project in Queensland as the reason the agency wants more time to review the Wyoming project.
Casper Star-Tribune; Aug. 4

USDA takes comments on closure of sheep research station in Idaho
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking public comment through Aug. 14 on the proposal to close the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois in eastern Idaho, and will hold listening sessions on the issue on Wednesday and Thursday.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Aug. 4

New mandates on grain shipments have Canadians railways fighting back
On Friday, Canada issued a mandate requiring Canadian Pacific and Canadian National each to ship 536,250 tons of grain each week through Nov. 29 or pay a fine of $100,000 for each violation, an order the heads of those railways called unnecessary.
Calgary Herald (Herald News Service); Aug. 4

Utility, Utah solar-power producers disagree on benefit, cost
Rocky Mountain Power officials said the total amount of power produced by rooftop solar installations amounts to a mere fraction of the utility's power needs in Utah, but those customers who feed excess power back into the grid say that the utility is getting a bargain on the clean power.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 4

Data analysis finds Salt Lake City 22nd for per-capita mass transit use
The review of federal transit data done by FiveThirtyEight.org found that Salt Lake City mass transit users took 42.2 trips per person in 2013, giving the Utah city a 22nd-place ranking, where New York City ranked first with 229.8 trips per capita; Denver-Aurora ranked 23rd with 41.1 per-capita trips.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 4

Alberta Energy declines to provide info on who can speak at hearings
After a 2013 Queen's Bench judge ruled that Alberta Energy had wrongfully kept an environmental group from appearing at a hearing on an oilsands project, the Canadian Press filed a freedom-of-information request on how that board determine who was eligible to appear and speak at Alberta Energy Regulator hearings, and received 260 blank pages in response to that request.
Calgary Herald (Canadian Press); Aug. 4

Hot beef market has Colorado man reopening Alberta processing plant
Rich Vesta purchased the Balzac beef processing plant last fall, and now the Colorado man has renamed the former Rancher's Beef plant in Balzac Harmony Beef, and is prepared to reopen the plant in January and plans to begin buying beef Sept. 1.
Calgary Herald; Aug. 2

Report indicates Montana's timber industry on the mend
The Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research's report released Friday indicates that, during the first half of this year, the number of workers in timber production had increased by 3 percent over the same period last year, and lumber production was up 4 percent in year-over-year numbers.
Missoulian; Aug. 2

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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