Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Rockies Today, Feb. 21

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

U.S. Supreme Court puts Montana campaign-finance ruling on hold
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on a decision by the Montana Supreme Court that upheld the state's constitutional ban on corporate spending in political campaigns, while the high court considers the appeal of the Montana decision.
Wall Street Journal; Feb. 18

Scientists analyze cost of developing Canada's oilsands
University of Victoria scientists Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart compared the development of Canada's oilsands to other energy use, and found that the tapping of all 170 billion barrels of oilsands crude will increase global temperatures 0.02 to 0.05 degrees Celsius, while burning all of the world's coal would raise temperatures 15 degrees, and using all of the globe's shale gas would raise temperatures 3 degrees.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Feb. 21

Montana judge upholds injunction halting movement of megaloads
On Friday, Montana state District Judge Ray Dayton ruled the temporary injunction placed on the movement of megaloads from Idaho through Montana to Alberta will remain in place until the state Department of Transportation completes a more extensive environmental review of the transport plan, and imposed an additional requirement that the state review the transport of the hundreds of scaled down modules as well.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 21

Construction of wind farms in Wyoming slows
Although permits for wind farms continue to be approved in Wyoming, by the end of 2011, only about 50 percent of the wind projects approved have been built, a lag that is attributed to transmission capacity, uncertainty about the federal government's decision on sage grouse, as well as Wyoming's changing tax policy on such projects.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 21

Colorado presses federal government to approve roadless plan
A decision rendered last week by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals put that circuit in agreement with the Ninth Circuit, affirming the 2001 so-called roadless rule that prohibits road-building and other activity in areas of roadless federal forest lands, a decision that could complicate Colorado's push for the federal government to approve its plan to manage roadless areas in the state.
Denver Post; Feb. 21

Idaho senator, USFS chief pitch collaboration, rather than selling forest lands
Last week in Idaho, three Republican presidential candidates proposed the sale of federal lands or the transfer or such lands to state management, and on Monday, Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell met with members of the press to speak in support of collaborative projects that have succeeded in the state, as well as the Forest Service's new planning rules that encourage such collaboration.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 21

Avalanche fatalities in the West now at 17
Three skiers and a snowboarder died in avalanches in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state on Sunday, bringing the number of people killed in avalanches in the Rocky Mountain West to 17 for the year, with six deaths reported in Colorado, three in Montana, three in Utah, one in Wyoming and the four in Washington state. Four avalanche deaths have been reported in Canada, all in British Columbia.
New York Times; Feb. 21

Headwaters 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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