The Rockies Today, Oct. 22



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S. Supreme Court asked to review Montana campaign-spending case
Twelve plaintiffs, led by the American Tradition Partnership, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider Montana's campaign spending limits on statewide political races after a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put a federal court decision lifting those limits on hold, and contributions made during the six-day period to Republican candidates are being challenged in court.
Flathead Beacon (AP); >Oct. 22

Natural gas a losing proposition for operators
The glut of natural gas has pushed the price of the fuel down 60 percent, and the companies that have punched hundreds of holes to pull the plentiful fuel out of the ground in the United States are taking a major hit to their bottom lines.
New York Times; Oct. 19

Report on Alberta oilsands mine expansion addresses loss of habitat
Shell Canada's report on its proposed expansion of its Jackpine oilsands mine in northeastern Alberta said that the expansion of that mine, in addition to the development of other projects in the region, would result in a 40-to-60-percent loss of bird habitat, 47 percent of critical habitat for woodland caribou, 39 percent of wood bison habita, and would have a significant effect on forest habitat for fisher, lynx, wolverine, moose, beaver and black bear.
Edmonton Journal; Oct. 22

Colorado's New Energy economy hit by layoffs, bankruptcies
The renewable energy sector of Colorado's economy has hit hard times, with Vestas laying off hundreds of employees at its wind-energy equipment factories in the state, General Electric's decision to hold off on its PrimeSolar plant in Aurora, and calls for investigation into the bankruptcy of the solar-panel manufacturer Abound Solar.
Denver Post; Oct. 22

Washington manufacturer to expand Idaho plant
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories' plan to expand its factory that makes equipment for the electric power industry in Lewiston will increase the number of workers at the Idaho plant from 150 now to more than 750.
Idaho Statesman (Lewiston Tribune); >Oct. 22

Wyoming reviews effects of worst wildfire season on record
There were 1,300 wildfires this past season in Wyoming that burned across 600,000 acres in total, and in some areas, burned so intensely that it melted organic material into a crust that could stall regrowth for up to a decade, and Wyoming officials said the changing climate could mean this past wildfire season was just a sample of what's to come.
Casper Star-Tribune; >Oct. 22

Wyoming works with companies to expand broadband internet access
The general manager of the Casper/Natrona County International Airport learned the importance of broadband internet access when the tele-teaching company Eleutian Technologies considered the airport's business park as a potential site for its company, but lack of broadband access sent the company elsewhere, but now a public-private effort is extending the reach of broadband.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 22

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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