The Rockies Today, Nov. 23

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Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Editor's note: The Rockies Today will not be published Thursday and Friday. Happy Thanksgiving.

Chinese company wants to build electric buses in Idaho
Officials of Zonda USA, the authorized representative of the Zhongda Industrial Group, a China-based company that builds electric buses, said Idaho's proximity to Pacific ports and its business climate, as well as the fact that it is the only right-to-work state in the region, makes it a good location for a manufacturing facility.
Idaho Statesman; Nov. 23

Federal appeals court rules Yellowstone grizzlies need federal protection
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Tuesday that will keep grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem under federal protection.
Missoulian; Nov. 23

Drillers ask Colorado cities for more water for hydraulic fracturing
Oil and gas wells drilled with the method hydraulic fracturing generally take between one million and five million gallons of water per well, and energy companies have already leased 500 million gallons of water from Front Range cities in Colorado so far this year, a demand that will surely increase given Anadarko's announcement last week estimating that the Niobrara formation in that area of the state contains hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.
Denver Post; Nov. 23

Local officials, groups want Colorado loophole on hydraulic fracturing closed
Colorado's regulation of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that uses water, sand and chemicals blasted underground under high pressure to crack open rocks to release oil and gas, contains a provision that allows companies to shield some information about chemicals used as trade secrets, and local officials and environmental groups said that loophole renders the state law virtually useless.
Denver Post; Nov. 23

Alberta company substitutes propane gel for water in hydraulic fracturing
One of the most contentious aspects of the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing is the copious amounts of water needed for the process, but Alberta-based GasFrac Energy Services Inc. has modified that process, substituting flammable propane gel for the water, sand and chemicals used to bust up rock formations holding oil and gas captive.
Edmonton Journal (Reuters); Nov. 23

Federal investigation questions cost of Wyoming logging project
After a whistleblower complaint was filed questioning the cost and method of a logging project in an upscale subdivision in Wyoming's Teton County, a federal audit of the $500,000 project commenced, finding only itemized invoices for $50,000, with the remainder being paid to a helicopter logging company, and auditors are questioning both state and federal processes in awarding the contract and paying the bill.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Nov. 23

USFS to conduct additional review of drilling plan for Wyoming Range
The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday that it would conduct an additional review of a Texas company's proposal to drill 136 wells on federal lands it holds leases on in the Eagle Prospect and Noble Basin of the Hoback Rim area in west-central Wyoming.
Casper Star-Tribune; Nov. 23

Xcel Energy asks Colorado PUC to approve $142M rate increase this year
Xcel Energy officials acknowledged that this is a hard time of year to ask their Colorado customers to pay more for their power, but the state's largest utility said it needs an increase of $142 million by year's end to offset some $750 million the company has invested in the Centennial State.
Denver Post; Nov. 23

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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