Rockies Today, Dec. 20

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Increase of trains carrying oil a concern in Montana communities
There has been a dramatic increase in trains carrying oil as oil production in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana has outstripped carrying capacity of pipelines, and smaller communities are concerned about their ability to respond to derailments that end in a fiery disaster like the one that occurred in Canada in July.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Dec. 20

Canadian review panel approves Alberta-B.C. pipeline project
The long-awaited decision of a review panel led by Canada's National Energy Board on Enbridge's proposed $6.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline gave the project the go-ahead but imposed 209 conditions the company must meet in order for the project to proceed, and British Columbia has imposed five requirements as well, making the future of the pipeline to carry heavy oil from Alberta to B.C.'s West Coast uncertain.
Vancouver Sun; Dec. 20

Documents indicate concessions sought for industrial projects in B.C. parks
According to documents posted on British Columbia's open-information website, the Environment of Ministry is anticipating requests for boundary adjustments in at least 35 parks and other protected areas to allow the construction of pipelines, transmission lines and other industrial projects.
Vancouver Sun; Dec. 19

Route of megaload through Idaho community a surprise for some
The Idaho Department of Transportation's meeting on Thursday in Coeur d'Alene contained a surprise for some: the routing of the three shipments, each weighing 1.6 million pounds, off Interstate 90 to avoid the high bridge east of Coeur d’Alene, which will require leaving the Interstate at Sherman Avenue, proceed along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive, and get back on the freeway on the far side of the bridge just past Higgens Point, in an area where the state's attempt to build an on-ramp to the interstate failed after a massive landslide swept two large pieces of earth-moving equipment into the lake.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Dec. 20

Utah says mysterious illness has now claimed 12 eagles
The mysterious illness that is killing eagles in northern Utah has now claimed 12 birds, and state officials are concerned that as migration of the birds increases through the state, the illness may spread.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 20

Wyoming legislator plans bill to legalize medical marijuana
With medical marijuana legalized in both Montana and Colorado, and the recreational use of marijuana soon to become legal in the Centennial state, Wyoming state Rep. Sue Wallis said she plans to introduce legislation that would decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Dec. 20

Utah offers Boeing a highly trained workforce, composites industry
Among the 22 states offering Boeing a place to manufacture some or all of its 777x airline is Utah, a business-friendly state with plenty of room for Boeing's new plants, a highly skilled, nonunion workforce and a booming composites industry capable of fabricating the airliner's giant plastic composite wing. This article is one in a series the Seattle Times is doing on states vying to attract Boeing's 777x work.
Seattle Times; Dec. 20

Grocery group wants food with GMO ingredients to be labeled 'natural'
The Grocery Manufacturers Association has asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant approval of the use of "natural" in food labels for foods and beverages that contain genetically modified corn, soy, canola and sugar.
New York Times; Dec. 20

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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