Evacuations ordered in Montana as new wildfires roar to life
The Pine Creek Fire first reported south of Livingston on Wednesday forced evacuations as high winds pushed it across hundreds of acres, and evacuations were also ordered on the Rosebud Fire that made a 1,000-acre run in southeastern Montana on Wednesday afternoon.
Billings Gazette; Aug. 30
Dispute over renewable energy in Idaho makes financiers wary
Idaho Power Co. has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow it to limit electricity production from wind farms at times of low demand, and the unresolved dispute has created uncertainty in the renewable-energy market, making it hard for wind power developers such as Greece-based GEK Terna to get funding for projects like GEK Terna's 138-megawatt Mountain Air wind farm, scheduled to go online in October.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Aug. 30
Utah tar sands mine moves closer to approval after groundwater decision
An administrative law judge affirmed the decision of the Utah Division of Water Quality that a proposed tar sands mine on state School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration's lands between Vernal and Moab did not have to get a groundwater pollution permit, although it's likely that decision will be appealed.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 30
USFS releases proposal to update 1993 management plan for Colorado forest
The U.S. Forest Service's Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the White River National Forest in Colorado updates the agency's 1993 plan, and would reduce the amount of land available for oil and gas development by 37.5 percent and increase the acreage where "no surface occupancy" is allowed.
Aspen Times; Aug. 30
BLM releases proposal for energy development in SW Colorado
Public comments will be accepted through Sept. 17 on the Bureau of Land Management's environmental assessment of oil and gas development on 12,000 acres of land in southwestern Colorado, with two-thirds of the 12 parcels covering nearly 90 percent of the acreage located in La Plata County.
Durango Herald; Aug. 30
USFS holds open house on proposed Colorado ski area development
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Forest Service published its 567-page environmental impact analysis of the proposal by Texas developer Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and his partner to build a resort on Wolf Creek Pass adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area in Colorado, and on Wednesday night, Pagosa Springs residents got a look at three alternatives for the resort.
Durango Herald; Aug. 30
Canada begins review of Chinese company's bid to buy Alberta energy firm
Industry Minister Christian Paradis said Wednesday that the China National Offshore Oil Co. has asked the Canadian government to review its $15.1-billion deal to buy Alberta-based Nexen Inc.
Edmonton Journal (Canadian Press); Aug. 30
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.