Rockies Today, Feb. 26



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.


Montana Senate rejects bill to expand net-metering projects
On a 26-24 vote Monday, the Montana Senate killed Sen. Mike Phillips' Senate Bill 247, which would have allowed the size of net-metered energy project to double from 50 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.
Helena Independent Record; Feb. 26

Former Montana governor, hedge fund seek control of Stillwater Mining
Brian Schweitzer and the Clinton Group, a New York City-based hedge fund, served notice on Billings-based Stillwater Mining Co., which operates the nation's only platinum and palladium mines in the nation, that they intend to oust the board of the Montana company, and put another board that will include the former governor of the Big Sky State, in power.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Feb. 26

Utah Senate advances federal lands legislation, another awaits House action
On Monday, the Utah Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee sent SJR13, a joint resolution calling for the governor and federal delegation to work quickly to implement the Transfer of Public Lands Act passed last year, which would put 30 million acres of federal lands in Utah under state control, and awaiting action in the Utah House is HB142, which would authorize the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office to continue the study of how best to conduct such a transfer of lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 26

Wyoming Legislature sends bill on federal lands to Mead
Legislation authorizing $30,000 for a task force to study the effects of Wyoming taking control of federal lands is now on Gov. Matt Mead's desk.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 26

Idaho Senate passes bill giving state primacy over species decisions
The Idaho Senate voted 30-4 to approve a bill that would give the state ultimate authority over decisions on endangered species.
Idaho Statesman (Spokesman-Review); Feb. 26

Three bills on endangered species before the Utah Legislature
Concerns about federal efforts to protect endangered species and the effect such measures have on property values were cited as the reasons behind three bills before the Utah Legislature, with House Bill 122 requiring county assessors to consider species decisions in land valuations; HCR7, a resolution that would prohibit any land in San Juan County being designated as critical habitat for sage grouse; and SCR3, a resolution calling for Iron County to take over recovery efforts of the Utah prairie dog.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 26

Alberta firm delays carbon-capture plan until natural gas prices rise
After Alberta announced it was ending its $285-million support of Calgary-based Swan Hills Synfuels project to capturecarbon dioxide from the gasification of coal and put it on the market for enhance oil recovery, Swan Hills put that project on hold until natural gas prices rise to the point where synthetic fuels are again economically viable.
Edmonton Journal; Feb. 26

Mining company transfers Colorado leases to BLM to defray cleanup costs
Standard Metals Corp. transferred the ownership of 40 patented mining claims covering 285 acres in Colorado's San Juan, Ouray and Hinsdale counties as partial settlement of a natural-resource damage claim against the company.
Durango Herald; Feb. 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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