The Rockies Today, July 17



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Farmers in N. Idaho blame releases from Montana dam for damaged crops
Heavy rains and seepage caused by extended high river flows in the Kootenai River due to continuing releases from the Libby Dam in Montana are being cited by farmers in the Kootenai River valley in Idaho for ruining their crops.
Coeur d'Alene Press; July 17

Inspector general report details flaws in BLM's renewable energy program
In an Interior Department's Inspector General's report issued last month, the Bureau of Land Management's renewable energy program was faulted for not having a process in place to ensure timely rental payments from 22 wind power projects, and a shortfall in bonding requirements on 14 such projects.
Summit Daily News; July 15

Bill to expand access to federal public lands an issue in U.S. Senate race in N.M.
U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich, who is battling with Republican U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson for the U.S. Senate seat left open by New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman's retirement, has introduced legislation designed to open up access to millions of acres of public lands, a measure that has garnered the support of the National Wildlife Federation, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Trout Unlimited, the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Idaho Statesman (AP); July 17

Drought conditions in U.S. worst in 55 years
In its monthly report issued Monday, the National Climatic Data Center in North Carolina said that, at the end of June, moderate to extreme drought conditions were reported in 55 percent of the United States, the highest percentage reported since December of 1956.
Denver Post; July 17

Colorado judge tosses Powertech's lawsuit challenging uranium mining rules
Canada-based Powertech's lawsuit that challenged the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board's regulations on uranium mining were "arbitrary and capricious," was dismissed by a Denver district judge last Friday.
Denver Post; July 17

Peabody Energy inks deal with Kinder Morgan to expand coal export potential
Under an agreement signed with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Peabody Energy will expand its capacity to export coal from its mines in the Powder River Basin, Colorado and Illinois Basin through Gulf Coast ports from five million tons to seven million tons annually each year between 2014 and 2020.
Denver Post; July 17

Environment ministers get a look at Alberta oilsands monitoring program
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent and his Alberta counterpart, Diana McQueen, were in oilsands country to see how the Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Plan, implemented in February, was progressing.
Edmonton Journal; July 17

Alberta gives carbon capture project conditional approval
Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board attached 23 conditions to be met before the $1.35-billion Shell Canada Quest carbon capture project northeast of Edmonton can proceed.
Calgary Herald (Canadian Press); July 14

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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