Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Montana judge rules against landowners in power-line eminent domain lawsuit
After the 2011 Montana Legislature passed legislation giving public utilities or other companies with permits issued after Sept. 30, 2008, under the Major Facilities Siting Act, the right to use eminent domain to clear the way for such projects, landowners in the path of the Montana-Alberta Tie Line transmission line project sued, saying the legislation violated the Constitution, but a Montana judge found otherwise on Wednesday; the lawsuit will continue over the issue of whether MATL is a "necessity" and a "public use."
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 12
Montana, Wyoming power plants make EPA's Top 20 list for emissions
The Associated Press' analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data on the nation's top emitters of greenhouse gases ranks PPL Montana's Colstrip plant in Colstrip as 8th in the nation, with 17.1 million metric tons of greenhouse gases emitted in 2010; and the Jim Bridger plant at Point of Rocks in Wyoming 14th, with 14.8 million metric tons of emissions.
Ravalli Republic (AP); Jan. 12
Hecla Mining Co. to close Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho for a year
Federal inspectors ordered the Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho closed last Friday, and said Hecla Mining Co. must clean the mine shaft of sand and cement buildup on the mine's walls, a process Hecla officials said will take at least a year, putting 200 employees of the mine out of work for that period of time.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Jan. 12
Federal judge in Idaho to hear arguments in Credit Suisse 'own to loan' case
Tim Blixseth, co-founder of the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Montana, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Idaho against Swiss banker Credit Suisse, which plaintiffs allege embarked on a campaign of predatory lending to luxury resorts in Montana, Idaho and other locations with the plan to take ownership of those properties when they failed, and parties will make their arguments before a federal judge today.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle (AP); Jan. 12
Lawsuit filed to stop Montana's plan to move bison to reservations
A state lawmaker joined with ranchers, public land advocates and property owners in a lawsuit filed in Montana's Blaine County seeking to halt the state's plan to put 68 bison that wandered out of Yellowstone National Park on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap reservations until a statewide plan on such relocation and an environmental assessment has been completed.
Billings Gazette (AP); Jan. 12
Imperial Oil orders 200 more units from South Korea for Alberta oilsands project
Imperial Oil is expanding its oilsands operation in Alberta, requiring an estimated 1,200 new components for its processing plant, 200 of which will be ordered from South Korea, where they will be shipped to the Port of Vancouver in Washington state, and the company has not yet hammered out the route those components will take to get to Alberta.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Jan. 12
Wolves sighted near Jackson subdivision in W. Wyoming
Wildlife biologists said the sighting of wolves near the Indian Trails subdivision in west Jackson was expected, given that elk and moose are often sighted there, and residents were warned to keep track of their dogs.
Jackson Hole Daily; Jan. 12
Headwaters 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.