Rockies Today, June 16

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Drought, climate change driving forces on grazing lands in the West
Two Idaho sheep producers who have been grazing their herds on public lands in Idaho face a different landscape as drought, climate change and wildfires force the federal government to make changes to public land grazing across the West.
Los Angeles Times; June 16


Utah finds just one oil wells-to-refinery rail route will work
After reviewing 26 possible routes for a railroad to move oil from the Uinta Basin to existing rail lines and on to refineries in the Wasatch Basin, the Utah Department of Transportation Friday said just one route will work: a 100-mile route southwest to Price that includes a 10-mile-long tunnel through a mountain.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 14

Analysis finds few 'high-risk' oil, gas wells get BLM inspections
Data obtained by the Associated Press found that the Bureau of Land Management failed to inspect a majority of oil and gas wells on federal lands deemed to be of "high risk" due to their location and other factors in Utah, despite the federal agency's mandate to do so, and BLM officials said a lack of funding and staff kept them from fulfilling that mandate.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 16


In Montana, roughly 1 in 6 high-risk wells didn't get BLM inspections
Data obtained by the Associated Press indicated that 25 of 144 high-risk oil and gas wells on tribal and federal lands in Montana were not inspected as required over a three-year period.
Missoulian (AP); June 15


B.C. study delves into reinjected hydraulic-fracturing water
A study commissioned by Fort Nelson First Nation done by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre in British Columbia found that, since 1968, more than 16.1 trillion gallons of discharge water from drilling operations had been reinjected into one abandoned 46-year-old natural gas well in northeastern B.C.
Calgary Herald (Vancouver Sun); June 16


Hydraulic fracturing work surprises residents of Colorado community
A dozen or so homeowners who moved into Erie's Vista Ridge neighborhood said they were not told about hydraulic fracturing operations in the Colorado community, but Encana Oil & Gas officials said they've never kept their development plans a secret.
Boulder Daily Camera; June 15


'Gazmo' predicted to resurrect Wyoming's coalbed methane industry
Wyoming's coalbed methane industry collapsed in 2010, with many of the companies operating in the Powder River Basin walking away from their wells, leaving landowners unpaid and wells "orphaned," but Bob Mitchell, a consultant with High Plains Gas, said the Gazmo, new technology that pulls the gas from coalbed methane wells leaving water in the ground, will help resurrect the CBM gas industry in the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 14


Western utilities sign pact to regulate power grid
A proposal between PacifiCorp and California Independent System Operator, to create a computer-generated power purchase system on Western transmission grids, still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and for now, the Bonneville Power Administration is staying out of the deal, expressing concerns in FERC filings that such a system could encourage gaming of the system.
Idaho Statesman; June 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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