Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rockies Today, August 21

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Tribes' takeover of dam adds another aspect to Montana water fight
On Sept. 5, 2015, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will assume control of the Kerr Dam, which sits on the Flathead River in the middle of the Flathead Indian Reservation, where Montana's years-long work to hammer out a settlement of tribes' water claims continues after the initial proposed compact fell apart.
Flathead Beacon; Aug. 21

Land deal in Utah protects Book Cliffs lands from energy development
The Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act, signed into law in July by President Obama paves the way for a federal-state mineral swap that will keep energy development off the remote southern area of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Utah's Grand County, but will pave the way for the state and the tribes to work together on energy development.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 21

Idaho energy summit's focus shifts to transmission woes
On the second day of the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls, the mayor of the Idaho city took to the podium to warn the 150 policymakers, engineers and scientists of an impending blackout after a truck took out a power pole, and with no redundant transmission line in place, the city teetered on the edge of a blackout, providing good fodder for the summit's discussion on the difficulties utilities face in building new transmission lines.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 21

U.S. Energy secretary touts nuclear energy at Idaho summit
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is on a weeklong tour of the West, and on Wednesday, he spoke at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit, where he touted the use of nuclear power as a path toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the effects of global warming.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); Aug. 21

Yellowstone County Commission welcomes plan for new Montana refinery
Andrew Kacic, chief executive of Quantum Energy, and Bill Bradley, project director for Bilfinger Westcon Inc., Quantum's partner in a proposal to build refineries in North Dakota and Montana, made a presentation to the Yellowstone County Commission on Tuesday, where they said a new refinery in that Montana county would add between 100 and 150 new jobs, all paying more than $100,000 a year.
Missoulian (Billings Gazette); Aug. 21

Company proposing refinery in Montana has little capital
Quantum Energy, the company that pitched a plan on Tuesday to the Yellowstone County Commission to build a $500-million refinery in the Billings area, has assets of just $3.8 million, its stock is worth around 55 cents a share, and information on Quantum's partner, Bilfinger Westcon, is limited because it's a privately held company.; Aug. 21

Interior Secretary Jewell makes historic stop in Montana
When Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the Flathead Indian Reservation on Wednesday, she became the first Interior secretary to do so, and while she was there with Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, she said that offers to buy back fractionalized interests using funds from the Cobell settlement would be going out to landowners on the reservation on Sept. 5.
Missoulian; Aug. 21

Moody's downgrades financial rating of Idaho's leading energy explorer
Texas-based Alta Mesa, Idaho's leading natural gas explorer, downplayed Moody's decision to downgrade its credit rating from "stable" to "negative," and said the rating doesn't consider recent production growth and other factors, but the Idaho Conservation League urged the state to consider the financial situation of the company as the state continues work on beefing up regulations to cover situations when companies can't cover their financial obligations after drilling wells.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 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.


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