The Rockies Today, Sept. 12

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Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Lack of staff, funding hampers federal pipeline safety agency
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is charged with inspecting and ensuring the safety of the spiderweb of pipelines that carry oil, gas and other materials has more than two dozen fewer inspectors than the 135 authorized by federal law, and that while the number of major spills from pipelines annually has remained at about 100, the amount of materials recovered after such spills has gone down dramatically.
New York Times; Sept. 10

Excess, lack of water in the U.S. reinvigorates pipeline dreams
As portions of the United States are flooded in water and other areas not seeing a drop of rain in weeks, pipeline projects to move water from areas of excess to regions in need get a new look.
Deseret News (AP); Sept. 12

Federal judge approves USFWS's species deals with environmental groups
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved two far-ranging agreements with environmental groups that will put protection of 800 species on the agency's front burner.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Sept. 12

With Colorado roadless plan under review, USFS to auction energy leases
Colorado's proposed plan to manage the 4.2 million acres of federal roadless forest lands in the state is under review in Washington, D.C., while the U.S. Forest Service continues its plan to auction off drilling rights on thousands of acres in the Elkhead Mountains west of Steamboat Springs and the Mamm Peak area on the Western Slope in November.
Denver Post; Sept. 12

BLM will gather public comment on new regulations to speed energy leases
At a House subcommittee meeting chaired by Colorado U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn on Friday, Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director Mike Pool said the agency was working on new regulations for the use of "categorical exclusions," to speed up the review of energy leases, and that the BLM will take public comment on those guidelines.
Washington Post (AP); Sept. 12

Montana law on wolf hunt could provide avenue for false reporting
Wolf-hunt advocates in Montana said that the state's law that doesn't require hunters who fill their wolf tags to provide physical evidence of the kill could allow opponents of the hunt to fraudulently report kills to fill quotas and shut down the hunt, but state wildlife officials said that if they think a report is false, they will investigate.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 12

U.S. House panel to hear Rehberg's Montana Land Sovereignty Act
On Tuesday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, will hold hearings on a series of bills introduced to prevent a president from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate areas national monuments, including U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's Montana Land Sovereignty Act.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 12

Montana sixth state in nation to adopt rules on hydraulic fracturing
Montana's rules that require companies that use hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that introduces water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals underground at high pressure to crack open rocks holding oil and gas deposits captive, took effect on Aug. 26, and while companies do not have to release specific amounts of the chemicals used in the process, they do have to provide a complete list of the chemicals used.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 12

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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