Economics, not politics, driving force of U.S. energy policy
President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney disagree somewhat on energy policy, but the explosion of natural gas supplies in the country has changed the landscape of the country's energy use, and the outcome of the election probably won't affect energy policy much, but the same can't be said about environmental policy. An analysis.
New York Times; Oct. 24
Montana high court says lease of state's coal reserves fine
The Montana Supreme Court issued a decision Tuesday that said the decision of the State Land Board to lease 587 million tons of coal to Arch Coal in 2010 without first doing an environmental review did not violate the state's Constitution.
Helena Independent Record; Oct. 23
Oracle Corp. urges pricing changes to curb water use
In a report released earlier this week, Oracle Corp., which provides smart meter management software to large water utilities, said that a third of the 244 senior water utility executives surveyed believe that demands on water supplies will outstrip supplies by 2030, and pricing may be the best way to curb consumer use.
Business Week; Oct. 22
NPS reviews options for much-visited Utah national park
Arches National Park gets more than 1 million visitors a year, a rate that overwhelms the Utah park's infrastructure designed more than 50 years ago to handle 75,000 annual visitors, and National Park officials said they're examining ways to reduce the number of cars passing through the park by 25 percent.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 24
Winds whip wildfire across 1,700 acres in Colorado
Colorado officials believe the wildfire that burned across 1,700 acres in a matter of hours on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of the small town of Wetmore west of Pueblo was started when high winds caused power lines to blow together.
Denver Post; Oct. 24
Research project in Montana peppers grass seed to deter mice
One of the reasons replanting efforts after wildfires don't succeed as well as hoped is that mice eat the seeds sown before they have a chance to sprout, so Dean Pearson, a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Montana, is experimenting with seasoning the seeds with pepper to make the seeds less appetizing to mice.
Missoulian; Oct. 23
Hewlett-Packard wins Idaho's $180-million school laptop contract
On Tuesday, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Public Schools Superintendent Tom Luna announced that California-based Hewlett-Packard won the state's eight-year, $180-million contract to provide laptops to students and teachers.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Oct. 24
Wyoming gives uranium mining project the final go-ahead
On Tuesday, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued Uranerz Energy Corp. a deep well permit for its Nichols Ranch uranium mining project, the final step needed for production to begin, which Uranerz officials said could be in the first quarter of 2013.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 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.