Report details lack of progress on wilderness bills in Congress
The Center for American Progress and the Center for Western Priorities' report "Languishing Lands: Conservation Bills Stalled in Congress," released Thursday tracks the lack of progress on dozens of conservation bills, and during a press conference call on the report, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Utah Rep. Rob Bishop was responsible for the lack of progress on bills involving lands in Utah, a charge which the Republican congressman immediately dismissed as a rehash of previously discredited accusations.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 21
Idaho Fish and Game make changes to wolf, big game hunting seasons
At a meeting on Thursday, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a number of rule changes for wolf hunting and trapping, including opening trapping seasons in eight big-game units in the local Sawtooth and Southern Mountains zones.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); March 21
Wind-energy industry's higher reach yield's lower costs
The American Wind Energy Association reports that tapping into winds higher than 200 feet above ground brings the cost of wind-generated energy closer to that of burning coal, and in Alaska, a company is testing a Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, an enormous, helium-filled donut-shaped device with a rotor in the middle that is tethered to the ground with a cable.
New York Times; March 21
FERC: Montana PSC rules hinder small power projects
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a declaratory ruling that said Montana Public Service Commission regulations pose a hindrance to small power projects, a decision that allows the state's PSC to make changes to its rules voluntarily or gives small power producers a platform to base litigation challenging those rules.
Missoulian; March 21
Dip in U.S.'s natural gas reserves may be boon for Wyoming
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that natural gas reserves had dipped to an 11-year low and prices had picked up, a market trend that could benefit Wyoming as much of the natural gas produced in that state is sold out of state, and an increase in price will translate to higher tax revenues for the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 21
This winter's 'polar vortex' drives up demand for U.S. coal
Lower-priced natural gas took a bite out of U.S. coal company profits, but this winter's cold weather slurped up much of the natural gas reserves in the U.S., and coal-fired power plants ramped up production to meet higher demands driven by colder temperatures, and coal began to gleam again. An analysis.
CNBC.com; March 21
Results of exploratory drilling prove geothermal plant will be built in Idaho
Aguacaliente's third successful drilling operation to tap into the extremely hot, briny aquifer deep below the surface near Malta means the geothermal power plant proposed for that area of Idaho will "absolutely" be built, according to the developer.
Twin Falls Times-News; March 21
Colorado ballot measure would cut revenue to cities with drilling bans
On Thursday, Colorado state Reps. Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch and Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling rolled out a proposed ballot initiative that would block communities that have current bans on oil and gas development from receiving revenue from such operations.
Boulder Daily Camera; March 21
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.