Rockies Today, April 16

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Oil, gas companies in Colorado urged to clean wastewater for reuse
While oil and natural gas production increases in Colorado, the production of salty, toxic liquid waste has increased to about 15 billion gallons annually, and that waste is disposed of in a number of ways, and Encana is taking the lead by treating that process water so it can be re-used for hydraulic fracturing.
Denver Post; April 16

Colorado Senate to take up graywater bill
Colorado is only state in the Rocky Mountain West that does not allow the use of graywater—wastewater from showers, hand-washing sinks and washing machines—to flush toilets and landscaping, but legislation passed by the state House this session and headed to a hearing before the state Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee on Wednesday, could change that.
Denver Post; April 16

B.C. orders coal company to provide plan to limit selenium in Elk Valley
Teck Coal has admitted that coal mining operations in the Elk Valley watershed, which includes the Elk and Fording rivers and Lake Koocanusa, which flows across the border into Montana, are linked to high selenium levels in those waters, and on Monday, the British Columbia government ordered the company to come up with a plan to address selenium and other contaminants in 90 days.
Toronto Globe and Mail; April 16

Utah congressman seeks input on federal lands legislation
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop has invited all stakeholders to provide input on what federal lands in Utah should be protected and which should be open to energy development and other uses, and work with him to craft legislation to protect those acres of federal lands as wilderness and clarify the mission for the remaining acres.
Salt Lake Tribune; 16

Wyoming groups urge Jewell to put new Powder River coal mines on hold
On her first day as Interior secretary, Sally Jewell received a letter from a number of Wyoming groups, including the Powder River Resource Council, urging that coal leasing in the Powder River Basin be halted and that a review of the nation's coal-leasing program be conducted.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 16

Washington State U. researcher finds biological weapon against cheatgrass
A researcher at Washington State University found that a native soil bacteria in high concentrations inhibits the growth of cheatgrass, an invasive plant that has taken over large swaths of the Rocky Mountain West, crowding out native plants and providing fuel for wildfires.
Ravalli Republic (Lewiston Tribune); April 16

Idaho Power cites decline in revenue in request for rate increase
On Monday, Idaho Power Co. submitted a formal request to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to raise its residential power rates by 8 percent to address an unanticipated drop in revenue due to a decline in hydroelectric power due to low stream flows last year and a decline in revenue due to cheaper energy prices on the open market.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 16

Wyoming governor's trip to Saudi Arabia prompts reciprocal visit
Gov. Matt Mead's promotion of energy research being conducted in Wyoming during a recent trip to Saudi Arabia enticed officials from Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals to plan a trip to the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 16

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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