Friday, June 1, 2012

The Rockies Today, June 1

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana ranch inks deal to send cattle to Colombia
Taking advantage of a new trade agreement between the United States and Colombia, Colombian Ambassador Gabriel Silva bought 50 head of cattle from the McMillan Shorthorn Ranch in Montana that will be the first live shipment of beef from the U.S. to Colombia.
Billings Gazette; June 1

Wyoming coal company exec discusses coal export plan at Montana event
Next week, the Helena City Commission will decide whether to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider the effect increased coal train traffic will have on the Montana city, and on Thursday, Todd O'Hair, the government affairs director for Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy, talked at the weekly Home Town Helena meeting to give the coal industry's side of the export debate.
Helena Independent Record; June 1

Coal miner sues British Columbia over lost coal leases in Flathead Valley
Cline Mining has filed a lawsuit against British Columbia, seeking $500 million in damages, charging that the passage of the Flathead Watershed Conservation Act, which precludes mining in the province's Flathead Valley, was an illegal taking of the company's coal mining leases.
Vancouver Sun; June 1

No containment yet on New Mexico's largest-ever wildfire
With drought conditions in Colorado, Utah and Arizona similar to that in New Mexico, fire officials said this year's wildfire season could be a rough one, as the wildfire in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico continues unabated, fed by tinder-dry fuels and high temperatures.
Christian Science Monitor (AP); June 1

Groups petition Obama to create Colorodo national monument
The U.S. House has already passed Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton's bill to declare Chimney Rock a national monument, and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate, but some groups are afraid gridlock in Congress will block action on that bill, and are instead petitioning President Barack Obama to use his presidential powers to designate Chimney Rock and Brown's Canyon in Colorado as national monuments, as well as sites in New Mexico and Nevada.
Durango Herald; June 1

Critic of Alberta oilsands awed by first look at operations
Thomas Muclair, the NDP leader who riled up premiers of Canada's western provinces with his criticism of oilsands and the imbalance he said the energy industry caused in the country's economy, got his first look at an oilsands operation in Alberta this week, and while he toned down his language a bit, he remained steadfast on his position that oversight of oilsands operations were not what it should be.
Toronto Globe and Mail; June 1

Slump in natural gas prices portend leaner times ahead for Wyoming
Funding for schools in Wyoming comes primarily from revenues for oil, gas, coal and other minerals, and state budget forecasters are decreasing revenue estimates as natural gas prices remain low, and at least one company has pulled drilling rigs out of the Pinedale Anticline.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 1

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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