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Rocky Mountain Front
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
produced daily by Shellie Nelson

Editor's Notes...

West map In the Rockies today, a port expansion project is approved in B.C., and Alberta's premier discusses the "bitumen bubble's" effect on the province's budget.

The Port Metro Vancouver has approved an expansion project that will allow an additional 10 million tons of metallurgical coal used to make steel to be exported from British Columbia to overseas markets.

On Thursday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford warned Albertans that budget cuts are in the offing, and she blamed a growing gap between the price Alberta sells its oil and the North American benchmark for the $6-million loss in revenue.

Moving south of the border into the United States, Wyoming wildlife officials said the state's dual classification of wolves is working to keep the wolf population in control, a federal appeals court declines to revisit a ruling by a 3-judge panel on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to withdraw 77 energy leases in Utah, and bad air continues to plague counties in Northern Utah.

Also in the news, Colorado U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is expected to introduce a bill next week that is a companion to the gun-control legislation introduced into the U.S. Senate by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday.

Rockies today

B.C. port approves expansion to accommodate increased coal exports
A $200 million expansion project was approved by Port Metro Vancouver that will allow the port on British Columbia's west coast to double the amount of coal it exports.
Vancouver Sun; Jan. 25

U.S. oil glut takes a bite out of Alberta's budget
In her speech Thursday night, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said an oil price differential that was much higher than estimated had reduced oil revenue in the province by $6 billion, requiring some drastic cost-cutting measures.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 25

Federal appeals court declines to revisit decision on rescinded Utah leases
On Thursday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from two Utah counties and three energy that the appeals court review a decision rendered by a three-judge panel that affirmed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to withdraw 77 energy leases in Utah after they were sold.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 25

Wyoming says predator zone designation for wolves is working as planned
Wyoming's dual classification of wolves, which allows wolves in the predator zone to be removed at will, is working as state officials had hoped, with 31 wolves killed in that area of the state since October.
Jackson Hole Daily; Jan. 25

Colorado Rep. Perlmutter to introduce gun-regulation bill in the U.S. House
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California introduced legislation on Thursday that would ban the manufacture and sale of 157 different types of semiautomatic weapons and the sale of high-capacity magazine clips, and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado is expected to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. House next week.
Denver Post; Jan. 25

Wyoming study pitches state's wind resource as perfect for California
The "Wind Diversity Enhancement of Wyoming/California Wind Energy Projects," released Thursday is being used by wind developers in Wyoming to pitch their renewable energy resource to California.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 25

GE's solar-cell technology sets efficiency record
In recent tests conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, a thin-film thin-film solar-cell developed by General Electric set a world record in efficiency.
Denver Post; Jan. 25

Residents of N. Utah counties brace for another round of bad-air days
Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties have already logged a dozen days or so this season where particulate pollution in the northern Utah counties have exceeded federal standards, and more bad air is in the forecast for this weekend.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 25

Beyond the region

Boycotts cause organizers of Pennsylvania outdoor show to postpone event
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg has been postponed by the organizer of the event, after some vendors boycotted the Pennsylvania show that banned assault rifles at the show.
USA Today; Jan. 25

In depth

Utah governor says state will follow all federal laws on guns
Gov. Gary Herbert said that although he does not agree with President Obama's decision to sign a slate of executive orders relating to gun violence, the Utah governor said he also did not agree with the Utah Sheriffs Association's stance that most of the counties would not be enforcing federal gun laws believed to be unconstitutional, and Herbert said he believed both actions to be overreactions.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 25

Colorado legislator suggests a fee to cover expanded gun checks
State Rep. Rhonda Fields, the Colorado legislator who is drafting legislation to expand background checks on gun buyers, said she knows that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation will need more money to cover the additional checks, and suggested perhaps making the applicants pay a fee to cover the cost, while Republican lawmakers suggested curtailing the number of checks would avoid the need for a budget increase.
Denver Post; Jan. 25

Montana sheriff assures Ravalli County residents he won't take their guns
After President Obama signed 23 executive orders on addressing gun violence, Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said he received dozens of calls from residents of the Montana county seeking his promise that he would not take away their guns, and he assured them that he would not.
Ravalli Republic; Jan. 25

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"I think it was probably an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to the idea that Washington is somehow going to tell us what we're going to do. If we don’t like the laws that are passed, if we don’t like the executive orders, we have a process in place. Go to court. We don’t have to have confrontations at the border. Go to court and we'll find out whether it’s the law of the land or not, but Utah will adhere to the law of the land."

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

at the

The University of Montana