The Rockies Today, Aug. 17



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana senators ask Amtrak to add capacity to aid in oilworker commute
As oil workers from Montana and other states west of North Dakota climb on board Amtrak trains for their commute to and from the Bakken oilfields, Williston, N.D., is on track to become the busiest station on Amtrak's Empire Builder between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest, and Montana U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester are urging Amtrak to add capacity to that run.
Hungry Horse News; Aug. 15

Drought of 2012 to linger in most parts of U.S. through fall
The Deseret News examines the effect of the 2012 drought from how it will affect food supplies and prices to how the dry weather is affecting Utah's water supplies.
Deseret News; Aug. 17

Idaho wildfire explodes across 20,000 acres in one day
The Halstead Fire burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho near Stanley grew by 20,000 acres between Wednesday and Thursday, and is now 78,000 acres in size. Campgrounds have been evacuated, river trips canceled and the community of Sunbeam is on an evacuation notice.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); Aug. 17

Utah ozone study says oil, gas operations play a role in pollution
The Winter Basin Ozone Study’s interim report released on last winter's $5-million study of ozone pollution in Utah's Uinta Basin is the first to point a finger at oil and gas operations as a contributing factor to the dirty air.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 17

EPA's new rules on emissions target air quality in Montana's wild places
Environmental groups, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service all said that the Environmental Protection Agency's new rules on emissions from power plants and other industrial plants don't go far enough, while industry officials said the federal agency has underestimated the cost of pollution controls.
Montana Standard (AP); Aug. 15

Exergy halts work on wind farms in Idaho
Renewable-energy developer Exergy Development Group filed documents with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to halt work on wind farms in Twin Falls, Lincoln and Bingham counties, with company officials saying those projects would not be finished in time to claim a federal tax credit that expires the end of this year.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 15

Idaho county, federal government agree to talk on road lawsuit
After Custer County attempted to reopen Herd Creek Road, which the U.S. Bureau of Land Management closed more than a decade ago to protect the Jerry Peak Wilderness Study Area in Idaho, the U.S. government sued to stop the county, and this week the party's to that lawsuit agreed to talks to settle the matter outside the court system.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Aug. 15

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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