Rockies Today, September 2

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News:

Lack of funding, technology, political will hobbles mine reclamation in U.S.

The blowout at the Gold King Mine in Colorado again moved the issue of reclaiming abandoned mines to the forefront, but as with previous such incidents that temporarily raised the issue of addressing abandoned mines in the United States, which would run into the tens of billions of dollars, this, too, shall pass, as will the political will to revamp the 143-year-old Hard Rock Mining Act.
Durango Herald; Sept. 2

Utah congressmen seek info from EPA on Colorado mine spill
In advance of a joint congressional hearing on the blowout at the Gold King Mine in Colorado on Aug. 5, Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources committee and U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform, along with Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, vice chair of the Natural Resources committee, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection demanding documents pertaining to the mine spill be produced by Sept. 14, in advance of a joint congressional hearing on the spill on Sept. 17.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 2

Wildfires burned more than 8 million acres this year in the U.S.
As of Tuesday, 8,202,557 acres of land in the United States had been burned by wildfires, and there are currently 65 large active wildfires, primarily in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and California, putting this year in the company of six other years since 2000, where wildfires have scorched more than 8 million acres.
Washington Post; Sept. 2

Climate change scientist uses photos to tell Montana park's story
Daniel Fagre is one of the top climate change scientists in the United States, and he's been documenting the disappearing glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana, providing photographic evidence of their decline, as well as other information on how climate change is affecting the highest lands in the nation.
Flathead Beacon; Sept. 2
Oil prices jump 27 percent in 3 days, fall 8 percent in 1
The price of oil has put the stock market's volatile nature to shame lately, jumping 27 percent in three days, and on Tuesday, dropping 8 percent. The per-barrel price closed Tuesday at $45.41, brought down by new indications that China's economy was slowing.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 2

Federal appeals court returns energy lease dispute to Montana court
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned U.S. District Court Judge Sam Haddon's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Montana Environmental Information Center, WildEarth Guardians and Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project to force oil and gas companies drilling on federal lands to reduce methane emissions from that work, and returned the lawsuit to Haddon's court for further litigation.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 2

Nexen shuts down Long Lake oilsands operation in Alberta
The Alberta Energy Regulator ordered Nexen Energy to shut down 95 pipelines in the province on Aug. 25 after Nexen self-reported that it had not been complying with maintenance and monitoring regulations, after which Nexen shut down its Long Lake steam-assisted gravity drainage operation.
Calgary Herald (Canadian Press); Sept. 2

Mining company releases film on Black Butte mine project in Montana
Tintina Resources, which is seeking federal and Montana permits for a copper mine near White Sulphur Springs, released its film, "The Black Butte Copper Project — Working Together," on its website and via YouTube on Tuesday, extolling the benefits of the copper mine to the area of Montana. Earlier this year, Montana Trout Unlimited and the Montana Environmental Information Center, released "Smith River Memories," a video chronicling experiences of floating that river, which opponents of the Black Butte project said would be put at risk if the mine is built.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 2

USFS tour of natural gas project in Colorado draws opponents
On Tuesday, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams hosted a tour of a proposed natural gas test well high up in the Thompson Divide west of Carbondale to provide the public with a preview of the process SG Resources will have to follow to proceed, but a number of area ranchers and residents showed up to show their opposition to the project in Colorado.
Aspen Times; Sept. 2

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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