The Rockies Today, Aug. 24

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Romney promises to give states lead on mining, drilling on federal lands
At a rally in New Mexico on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out details of his energy plan that includes speedy approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and giving states control of oil, gas and coal resources on federal lands.
New York Times; Aug. 24

Montana city's deal with Canadian company could mean 300 new jobs
At a meeting Thursday, Brett Doney, president of the Great Falls Development Authority, announced that a Canadian company plans to build a plant north of the Montana city that will employ 300 workers, but Doney could not provide additional information as the publicly traded company must still get shareholder approval for the project.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 24

BLM asks federal court to allow it to reverse Colorado drilling plan
The Bureau of Land Management filed a motion in a federal lawsuit brought by environmental groups seeking to overturn 33 drilling plans in Colorado approved by the BLM, asking the court to allow the federal land agency to rescind approval on three of those master plans.
Denver Post (Post Independent); Aug. 24

Colorado city opposes BLM's energy leases near drinking water source
The Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing 2,850 acres in South Park, including some energy leases within a half mile of Spinney Reservoir, which provides Aurora with water, and the Colorado city, Aurora water and conservation groups are protesting such leases.
Denver Post; Aug. 24

Idaho wildfire moves closer to Montana, forces evacuations
The Mustang Fire Complex, which has been burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho since July 30, moved northwest toward the Montana border on Thursday, when fire officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents in the Spring Creek and Indian Creek drainage.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 24

BSNF CEO discusses West Coast coal export proposals
Matthew Rose, the chairman and CEO of BNSF Railway, is making a swing through Washington state this week, and on Thursday, he discussed how increased exports of coal would affect communities along the railway's lines and said he doubts that more than three new ports on the West Coast would be opened for such exports, and that an additional eight to 12, or perhaps 12 to 16, trains would be added to the daily traffic along the rail lines between Montana and Wyoming and the West Coast, not the 60 some groups have projected.
The Columbian; Aug. 24

Work under way to remove 11,000 marijuana plans from Idaho forest
Thursday's raid in Idaho's Blaine County that resulted in the uprooting of 11,100 marijuana plants was part of "Operation Mountain Sweep," a multi-agency campaign to find and remove illegal pot-growing operations from public lands in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Washington.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 24

Idaho's 3-day wildlife summit begins today
Hundreds of hunters, wildlife-watchers, anglers and trappers have signed up to participate in the Idaho Fish and Game Department's three-day Wildlife Summit that begins today to discuss funding, wildlife management and other issues under the department's purview.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 24

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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