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Rocky Mountain Front
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013
produced daily by Shellie Nelson

Editor's Notes...

West map In the Rockies today, Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz has a plan to sell wind-generated power to California, and he's planning a $6-billion, 1,000-turbine wind farm in Wyoming and a $3-billion, 725-mile power line needed to get the power to an existing transmission line to do just that.

The fact that California isn't in the market for renewable energy isn't stopping Anschutz's ambitious plan.

In Idaho, legislators heard a presentation on Monday from a Utah lawmaker on that state's mandate to get federal lands handed over to state control.

The proposal isn't a new one in Idaho, as the state Republican Party's platform supports the transfer of federal lands to the state, and Idaho legislators appeared interested in pursuing the matter after hearing Utah Rep. Ken Ivory's presentation.

And tonight in Helena, the documentary "FrackNation" will premiere at 7 p.m. at the Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a reception for one of the documentary's filmmakers, Phelim McAleer.

Rockies today

Colorado billionaire bets big on Wyoming wind power
Phil Anschutz proposes spending $9 billion to build the 1,000-turbine wind farm on 2,000 acres in Wyoming to ship that power 752 miles on a proposed transmission line to Las Vegas for ultimate delivery to California, although officials from that state have said they prefer to buy energy from renewable resources within the state.
Denver Post; Jan. 20

Utah lawmaker urges Idaho to get control of federal lands for 'economic self-reliance'
On Monday, Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory made a presentation to members of the Idaho House and Senate resource committees on the Beehive State's successful passage of legislation that demands the federal government transfer some lands within Utah's borders to the state by 2014.
Twin Falls Times-News; Jan. 22

President Obama vows to address climate change
In his inaugural speech on Monday, President Obama said that he will work to address climate change issues during his second term in office.
New York Times; Jan. 22

A wildfire still burns in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
The Fern Lake Fire in the Rocky Mountain National Park is a smoldering reminder of last year's fierce wildfire season in Colorado and other Rocky Mountain West states, and unless snow levels increase, a foretelling of the wildfire season to come.
USA Today; Jan. 22

Utah city offers residents a choice on PCE contaminated water
A plume of groundwater contaminated by the dry cleaning solvent, P Tetrachloroethylene, often called PCE, has rendered all but one of Woods Cross' drinking water wells unusable, and now the Utah city plans to ask residents if they would pay $9 a month to help remove PCE from their drinking water or just live with the low level contamination.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 22

Groups question Montana PSC decision to pull power graph from site
Montana Public Service Commission Chairman Bill Gallagher said that he ordered the graph that showed were NorthWestern Energy obtained its power pulled from the PSC's website because it contained inaccurate information, but officials of renewable energy groups questioned the timing of the decision as it was made the day that Gallagher testified before the Legislature in favor of a bill written by NorthWestern Energy.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 19

Report touts Canada's role in world's mining industry
While London remains the global center for financing mining operations, Canada is the global center for mineral exploration.
Vancouver Sun; Jan. 22

'FrackNation' to premiere tonight in Helena
Phelim McAleer, one of the Los Angeles-based filmmakers who made the new documentary that attacks opponents of the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, will attend tonight's premiere of FrackNation in Helena.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Jan. 22

Opinion

Wyoming legislators should address issues within state's purview
There are only 40 days in Wyoming's legislative session, and state lawmakers should work on the myriad issues within their scope of authority, and stop wasting time on bills that challenge federal authority that won't pass constitutional muster anyway.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 20

Beyond the region

Report: Sales of homes in U.S. in 2012 at 5-year high
Industry officials said rising sales and shrinking inventory of available homes are driving prices up in the United States.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 22

Thousands comment on proposed coal export terminal in Washington state
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington State Ecology Department and Whatcom County are evaluating a proposal to build a terminal in Bellingham to export coal from Wyoming and Montana to overseas markets, and the deadline to comment on the proposal is 5 p.m. today.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Jan. 22



Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"I f there is one that has potential legs, it is this one. They have the deep pockets. They have a good wind resource. They just need customers."

Doug Larson, executive director of the Western Interstate Energy Board, about Phil Anschutz's $9-billion plan to build a wind farm in Wyoming and send the power to California.
- Denver Post

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Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West



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