In the Rockies today, an Idaho company's solar-powered products kept the lights on at a New Jersey marina during and after Hurricane Sandy.
The success of Boise-based Inovus Solar's SmartPole, which uses flexible solar panels wrapped around the pole to power street lights, during Hurricane Sandy provides an important lesson in creating a more resilient power grid.
In Montana, a Wisconsin group has found a local atheist to join its fight against a statue of Jesus that has sat along a ski slope on Big Mountain for decades.
The addition of a local plaintiff addresses the motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Knights of Columbus because the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing to bring the case because it could not name an individual harmed by the statue's presence, and keeps the lawsuit headed for trial next year.
Also in the news, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead released 73 initiatives, all of which could be the building blocks of the state's energy policy, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency accepts legislation passed by the 2011 Montana Legislature that gives the state 20 years to phase in some water-quality measures.