Rockies Today, Jan. 17




Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Company defends paying royalties on domestic price for exported coal
In a document filed in a lawsuit, Ambre Energy admitted that it created an in-house affiliate for the specific purpose of allowing the company to pay royalties on coal produced in Wyoming and Montana based on the domestic price, but then selling the coal for $85 more a ton overseas, a practice Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski are investigating.
Portland Oregonian; Jan. 17

EPA finds toxic releases in the U.S., Utah up
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's latest Toxics Release Inventory found that such releases are on the rise across the United States, including in Utah, where Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon mining operations retained its second place ranking in the nation for overall releases.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 17

Study finds 'signature emissions' from Colorado oil, gas operations
Scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado published results of their 2011 study that found emissions oil and gas operations contributed half the pollutants that formed ozone in Erie.
Boulder Daily Camera; Jan. 17

Utah university questions states' use of lands for education
Utah State University's report "A Magnificent Endowment: America's School Trust Lands," tracks how states used the 134 million acres of land granted to them by the federal government to benefit education, which found that nearly 75 percent of those lands are no longer in states' hands, with New Mexico and Arizona retaining the largest share of the lands allocated them, while California and Nevada have sold off nearly all of their acres of school-trust lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 17

Vestas to add workers in Colorado to fill new wind-tower contracts
Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems will hold job fairs in Pueblo on Friday and Colorado Springs on Saturday to hire workers for its Pueblo plant in Colorado to help fill orders from two companies for wind towers.
Denver Post; Jan. 17

Utah congressman applauds Salazar's decision to leave Interior
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to retire from the post the end of March was met with accolades from environmental groups for his accomplishments, but Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop said he was happy Salazar was leaving and he hoped that the position would be filled with a Westerner who had a good understanding about multiple use of federal lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 17

Speculation begins on who will replace Salazar as Interior secretary
President Obama has been criticized for having too little diversity in his Cabinet as he begins his second term, prompting speculation that a woman from the West could be selected to fill the position, including former Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 17

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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