Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rockies Today, August 14

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Conservation groups to sue USFWS over wolverine decision
A coalition of 13 conservation groups filed a notice of intent to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service challenging the agency's decision issued Tuesday that it would not pursue protection of the wolverine.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Aug. 14

Montana's Cascade County has more open jobs than applicants
The nation's dynamic workforce is mirrored in Montana's Cascade County, where the unemployment rate is 4 percent and local labor officials estimate there are twice as many open jobs as there are available workers, and in the skilled trades sector, companies' inability to hire workers has limited their ability to secure contracts.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 14

Report finds oil, gas companies still using diesel fuel in fracking
The use of diesel fuel in the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing has been banned since at least 1997, but a recent investigation done by the Environmental Integrity Project found that, between 2010 and 2014, oil and gas companies used 32,950 gallons in fracking work across the U.S., with 12,808 of those gallons used in Texas and 9,173 gallons used in Colorado, the petroleum industry disputes the figures because some of the drilling operations were on state lands under different regulations and some used kerosene, which the industry said is allowed.
Denver Post; Aug. 14

Bill Barrett Corp. denies using diesel in fracked well in Utah
The Environmental Integrity Project, using oil and gas companies' self-reported data in FracFocus, identified Bill Barrett Corp.'s Peter's Point well in Utah's West Tavaputs Plateau as being drilled using diesel fuel in the hydraulic fracturing process, the company said that the data was erroneous and had been corrected.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 14

Idaho mine cleanup plan includes grassy knoll to improve water quality
The mining waste left behind after a century of silver, zinc and lead mining in Idaho's Nine Mile Canyon northeast of Wallace continues to leach zinc, lead and other heavy metals into Nine Mile Creek, making the waterway too toxic for fish, and on Wednesday, state and federal officials unveiled the plan to pile the mining waste into an artificial ridge and cap it with grass to stop the migration of the metals into the water.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Aug. 14

First Nations in B.C. seek to stop other Imperial Metals projects
After a tailings pond breach at Imperial Metals' Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia earlier this month, First Nations are putting the company on notice that they want work to halt on other projects on tribal lands the company is working on, including the Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine on Neskonlith lands and the $500-million Red Chris copper and gold mine on Tahltan Nation lands.
Vancouver Sun; Aug. 14

Idaho gathers ranchers' input on revamp of grazing fees
Idaho hasn't raised fees for grazing on state lands since 1993, putting the state far below its neighbors for such fees, and part of the Department of State Lands' process to review, and raise, those fees includes meeting with ranchers to gather input from them.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 14

Alberta Utilities Commission OKs 2 new gas-fired power plants
The two-unit natural-gas power plant approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission near Stony Plain is expected to go online between 2018 and 2020, at about the time in 2019 when several coal-fired power plants are expected to be shut down as part of the province's plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
Calgary Herald; Aug. 14

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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