Rockies Today, Oct. 25



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

GE subsidiary gives up fight over megaload route through Idaho
Resources Conservation Company International filed documents on Thursday to drop its federal court action to allow the GE subsidiary to transport an oversized piece of equipment along Highway 12 from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border, and the company said it will find another route to ship the equipment.
Idaho Statesman (Lewiston Tribune); Oct. 25

NRDC analysis tracks effect of wildfire smoke in U.S.
The Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed data from the 2011 wildfire season, and found that two-thirds of U.S. residents were affected by smoke from those wildfires that year, with Texans affected the most, and Illinois residents ranking second, even though no wildfires burned in that state. Contains a graphic showing the intensity of smoke from U.S. wildfires.
USA Today; Oct. 25

Colorado company has drilling plans for Montana, Wyoming basin
Energy Corporation of America left Billings in the mid-1980s when oil and gas prices tanked, but the Colorado-company is back in the Montana city, with plans to develop the oil and gas leases it owns in the Big Horn Basin in Montana and Wyoming near Roscoe and Red Lodge.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 25

First auction of federal solar leases in Colorado brings no bids
Although initial interest in federal leases of public lands for solar projects in Colorado was high, with five companies filing preliminary applications for the three San Luis Valley parcels, and more than two dozen other inquiries about the sites, the first auction of federal solar leases on Thursday was a bust, with no bids submitted.
Denver Post; Oct. 25

Companies to close B.C. sawmills as beetle epidemic cut down supply
Canfor and West Fraser announced that they were closing their mills in Quesnel and Houston, respectively, in interior British Columbia next year as the pine beetle epidemic has resulted in a lack of timber to supply those mills.
Vancouver Sun; Oct. 25

Alberta company reports record oilsands production
Calgary-based MEG Energy Corp. reported a record 34,246 barrels per day in the third-quarter of this year, with plans to expand its Alberta operations to 80,000 barrels per day by 2015, and in the quarter ending Sept. 30, the company announced it had moved its first oil to U.S. refineries by barge on the Mississippi River to avoid a bottleneck in pipeline capacity at Cushing, Okla.
Calgary Herald; Oct. 25

State control of federal lands subject of Idaho legislative meeting
On Monday in Boise, the Idaho Legislature's joint Federal Lands Interim Committee will hear from a variety of stakeholders on the issue of the state taking control of federal public lands, with representatives from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Conservation League, and the Idaho Forest Group scheduled to participate.
Twin Falls Times-News; Oct. 25

Residents of Wyoming community air concerns about natural-gas plant
In order to curb the burning off of natural gas produced during the drilling process, Texas and Oklahoma companies working in Wyoming's Converse County want to build a natural-gas processing plant near Douglas, and at a hearing Wednesday with the state Department of Environmental Quality, residents of the community expressed concerns about emissions from the plant.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 25

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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