Rockies Today, March 31

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.N. panel releases dismal report on climate change
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the Earth is already experiencing the effects of climate change, with droughts in the Mediterranean region already contributing to political strife in in the Middle East and North Africa, and the collapse of sea ice is causing huge waves to strike the coast of Alaska, forcing entire communities to relocate.
New York Times; March 31

Clean Air Act drives coal-fired power's pollution from air to ground
Clean Air Act regulations put in place in 1970 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required coal-fired power plants to capture coal ash, and by 2010, there were an estimated 300 coal ash landfills and 584 lagoons at coal-fired power plants across the nation, many that are unlined, and as recent spills have indicated, the toxic sludge is a major threat to the nation's waterways.
Christian Science Monitor; March 31

Utah residents question BLM's explanation of oil spill in national monument
After hikers discovered a trail of oil that stretched 1.5 miles in the Little Valley Wash of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah on March 22, the Bureau of Land Management said it was likely the release occurred four decades ago and was uncovered by a flood last year, but residents of Escalante question that explanation and wondered if the oil spill was indeed that old, why a 2006 flood in the same area didn't uncover it then.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 31

Encana to sell Jonah Field assets in Wyoming to investment fund
Alberta-based Encana Oil and Gas continues its plan to focus more on oil by divesting itself of its natural-gas assets in Wyoming's Jonah Field for $1.8-billion to a subsidiary of the international capital fund TPG Capital, which plans to keep Encana's current Jonah Field office near Pinedale and open another office in Denver.
Denver Post; March 31

Drummond group considers ecosanctuary for wild horses in Montana
Drummond's Rural Sustainability Organization has submitted a proposal to create an ecosanctuary for wild horses near that Montana community.
Missoulian; March 30

Audit unearths problems with Montana's block management program
A legislative audit again found problems with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Block Management Program, which pays landowners that allow hunter access on their lands and provides a small reimbursement for any damage caused by those hunters, and now the legislative Environmental Quality Council is pressing the FWP for a response to the audit's findings, at a time when the department is seeking more funding from the Legislature.
Missoulian (Bozeman Daily Chronicle); March 31

TransCanada wins contracts to fill natural gas pipeline capacity in U.S.
Alberta-based TransCanada has obtained shipping commitments for nearly 2 billion cubic feet per day on its pipeline system that accesses markets in Michigan, Chicago and Wisconsin, as well as on the U.S. Gulf Coast, with 1.25 billion cubic feet a day to begin flowing this year, and the remainder in 2015.
Toronto Globe and Mail; March 31

Online petitions demand repeal of B.C.'s Park Amendment Act
The Park Amendment Act passed by the British Columbia changes how the province manages parks, and although Environment Minister Mary Polak emphasized that the management changes will not clear the way for pipelines, mining or drilling in the parks, environmental groups are gathering signatures calling for the bill's repeal.
Vancouver Sun; March 31

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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