Rockies Today, Feb. 20

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Montana U.S. Sen. Tester introduces bill on geothermal energy
The Geothermal Exploration and Technology Act introduced by Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester would create a direct loan program for developers of geothermal energy, and would encourage co-leasing of land with both geothermal and oil resources.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 20

Geologist questions assumptions about U.S. shale gas resources
David Hughes, a geologist and former research manager with the Geological Survey of Canada, released the results of his study commissioned by the California-based Post Carbon Institute, which promotes sustainable energy, that said the amount of recoverable shale gas resources in the United States has been grossly exaggerated, production in the fields will fall dramatically within the next decade, and plans for the U.S. will be a net exporter of liquefied natural gas won't materialize.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Feb. 20

EPA administrator for Rocky Mountain West resigns
James Martin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator for Region 8, which covers Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, announced that he is leaving his post as of Friday.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 20

TransCanada official disputes Alberta oilsands' role in climate change
Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have based some of their arguments against the pipeline that would carry Alberta crude south across the United States to refineries on the Gulf Coast on the effect the development of oilsands contributes to climate change, a stance Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president for energy and oil pipelines, said grossly misrepresents the true impact of such development.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 20

Idaho governor seeks $400K to fund ranchers' firefighting organizations
Using a model that's been in place in Oregon for 50 years, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is asking for $400,000 to help ranchers form new volunteer fire protective associations to help with firefighting efforts.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Feb. 20

Analysis finds Idaho could make money if federal lands are turned over
A quick analysis done by the Idaho State Department of Lands on proposed legislation that would require the federal government to transfer ownership of 16.4 million acres of lands over to the state found that the state could make millions of dollars on timber sales.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 20

Cotter Corp. urges Colorado to let uranium tailings be left on site
Gov. John Hickenlooper said he wants to get feedback from community members before the state makes a decision on whether the 5 million tons of uranium tailings at Cotter Corp.'s former uranium mill near Canon City along the Arkansas River should be disposed of on site or should be moved somewhere for disposal.
Denver Post; Feb. 20

Study finds oil, gas work in Utah'sUinta Basin source of ozone pollution
The conclusions of last winter's $5 million study of ozone pollution in Utah's Uinta Basin found that oil and gas operations were the primary source of pollutants, a finding that some groups said makes it clear that the state and federal land management agencies must do something to address the cumulative effects of energy development.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 20

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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