Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Summer weather in U.S. confirms climate change forecasts
Climate scientists predicted that a changing climate would spawn wild weather, and this summer's record-breaking heat, along with powerful storms, is confirming their predictions.
Time Magazine (AP); July 3
Crash of C-130 tanker in S.D. grounds 8 others on western wildfires
At least one member of the six-person crew on the C-130 air tanker that crashed fighting a wildfire in South Dakota died, and the eight other C-130 tankers deployed on other wildfires burning in the Western United States were grounded, leaving just 14 heavy air tankers available to fight wildfires.
Flathead Beacon (AP); July 3
Montana wildfire 20 miles wide, 30 miles long
Crews were able to make some progress on the Ash Creek Fire in eastern Montana on Monday, with erratic winds keeping fire crews from attacking the front end of the fire.
Billings Gazette; July 3
Wyoming wildfire chases 80 people from their homes
The Squirrel Creek Fire southwest of Laramie was estimated to be about 7,000 acres in size on Monday morning, and while it's not the largest wildfire in Wyoming, there are hundreds of homes that lie within its path.
Casper Star-Tribune; July 3
Light shale oil a new competitor for pipeline, refinery capacity in North America
The one million barrels per day of light shale oil spouting from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well in Texas, are in direct competition with the heavier crude from Alberta's oilsands, but that resource is so massive that refineries in the U.S. are retooling to handle the crude, changing the entire landscape of the North American energy market.
Edmonton Journal; July 3
Wyoming company buys Powder River coal mine site for $300M
Officials of the Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy Corp. said it closed the $300-million deal to buy a coal mine site on the Wyoming-Montana border that holds an estimated 291 million tons of recoverable coal, and that the deal will allow it to expand its coal exports to Asia.
Casper Star-Tribune; July 3
Lincoln County pays for grizzly bear study in NW Montana, N. Idaho
A three-year study launched to find out how many grizzly bears roam the 2.4-million-acre Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana was primarily paid for by Montana's Lincoln County.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; July 3
Colorado city council votes 8-0 to approve hydraulic-fracturing rules
At its meeting Monday night, the Commerce City City Council unanimously approved regulations on the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, which requires the city to hammer out individual agreements with operators on projects, a clause that keeps the city's rules from conflicting with those imposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Denver Post; July 3
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