Montana electric co-ops warn federal upgrades could raise rates
The U.S. Energy Department's plan to upgrade the federal government's pieces of transmission lines and other components of the nation's electrical grid, beginning with the 15-state Western Area Power Administration prompted concerns from Montana's electric cooperatives that such upgrades will raise prices for their customers.
Billings Gazette; July 19
Canadian government remains steadfast on support for Alberta-B.C. pipeline
Environment Minister Peter Kent said a recent U.S. report about Enbridge's handling of an oil spill from its pipeline in Michigan did not change the opinion of the federal government of either Enbridge nor its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, saying that the U.S. spill involved an older pipeline and that the Alberta-B.C. pipeline would be built with the latest technology.
Toronto Globe and Mail; July 19
International tribunal rules for B.C. in softwood dispute with U.S.
In 2011, the United States charged that British Columbia was violating the countries' 2006 softwood lumber agreement by using the pine beetle devastation of interior forests to justify low stumpage rates and that export volumes from the province appeared to have exceeded that expected from beetle-killed timber, but on Wednesday, the London Court of International Arbitration sided with British Columbia.
Vancouver Sun; July 19
Family pulls conservationist's name from Elk Foundation award
In a letter to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President David Allen, The family of Olaus Murie asked that the Foundation pull all references to a conservation award that carries the researcher's name, because the Murie family does not agree with the organization's stance on wolf management.
Missoulian; July 19
Utah mayor in D.C. to drum up support for Wasatch Front proposal
Salt Lake City Ralph Becker and a team of advisers are in Washington, D.C. meeting with representatives of federal agencies to come up with a comprehensive plan for all the canyons east of the Salt Lake Valley.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 19
Colorado U.S. senators introduce bill to protect Hermosa Creek watershed
U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall introduced legislation on Wednesday to designate 108,000 acres in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Area, which would designate 38,000 of those acres as wilderness and the remaining acreage as a special management area.
Durango Herald; July 19
Colorado congressman introduces bill to help states reduce wildfire risk
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton introduced the Healthy Forest Management Act of 2012, which would give states the authority to designate certain areas of public or federal lands as high-risk, and to take steps to mitigate wildfire risks on those lands.
Durango Herald; July 19
Executives of bankrupt Colorado solar company testify before Congress
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform took testimony from U.S. Energy Department officials and executives of Colorado-based Abound Solar, who said their company's failure was directly linked to the rapidly declining price of solar technology from China.
Denver Post; July 19
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.