Rockies Today, Aug. 26

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Wind, solar installations threaten U.S. power grid with obsolescence
As solar panels and wind turbines continue to pop up across the United States, industry insiders are warning that renewable energy installations are game-changers for the 3,200 utilities that operate the U.S. electrical grid.
BusinessWeek.com; Aug. 22

Great Falls to lose $15M on Montana energy project
Anti-regulation of the electricity business was the first step in Great Falls' journey to build and operate a coal-fired power plant near the Montana city, a venture that eventually failed and left the city with a $15 million loss.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 24

Mayor of Idaho town tells federal lawmakers to do more to prevent wildfires
As wildfires again rage near Idaho resort towns, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson are pressing for more money to be spent on preventing wildfires.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 26

Fuels-reduction work saves Utah homes from wildfires
Utah adopted a national wildland fire mitigation program seven years ago, and homeowners who did the fuels reduction work around their homes as stipulated by the program in the area burned by the Rockport 5 Fire last week were rewarded for their efforts by having their homes come through the fire unscathed.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 25

Budget realities underlie NPS's concessionaire change at Montana park
Industry insiders said the decision of the National Park Service to go with Xanterra Parks and Resorts' bid for the concessionaire contract in Glacier National Park in Montana rather than Glacier Park Inc., the company that held the contract for 16 years, is an indication of the federal agency's new budget restrictions.
Ravalli Republic (Flathead Beacon); Aug. 26

Pipeline study find Alberta's regulations not strong enough
After three major pipeline spills in Alberta last summer, Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes asked the Energy Resources Conservation Board to review the province's pipeline safety regulations and on Friday, that review was released that found while Alberta's regulations are some of the best in Canada, they're inadequate in areas where pipelines approach rivers and streams.
Calgary Herald; Aug. 26

Colorado county's secession plan would split Erie in half
Weld County has joined with seven other counties in the northeastern corner of Colorado in putting measures on the November ballot to secede from the state, and should that effort succeed, Erie would be split in half as it lies on the border of Weld and Boulder counties.
Boulder Daily Camera; Aug. 26

Caretaker of Idaho property shoots, kills young female grizzly bear
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating an incident that occurred near Island Park in Idaho, where a caretaker of a property shot and killed a grizzly bear just a few miles from where a grizzly bear attacked and wounded two Bureau of Land Management contract workers on Aug. 15.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Aug. 26

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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