In the News

O&G lobbies for access to White River...

May 17, 2013
The oil-and-gas industry is claiming that closures of land and increased regulations contemplated in the White River National Forest will make drilling “uncompetitive.” Five organizations affiliated with the gas industry submitted comments last winter to the Forest Service as part of the agency’s...

Exxon Mobil challenges Yellowstone River spill...

May 17, 2013
Exxon Mobil Corp. is challenging $1.7 million in penalties for a 63,000-gallon crude oil spill in the Yellowstone River, according to documents. The penalties were proposed by the Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which cited bad decisions by the...

Judge blocks Utah law that would prevent BLM,...

May 17, 2013
A state law that would have prevented some federal officials from enforcing state laws anywhere in Utah was temporarily blocked yesterday by a federal judge. Under the law sponsored by state Rep. Mike Noel (R), federal employees would have faced a $1,000 fine and six months in jail for enforcing...

National park officials mull action after cactus...

May 17, 2013
Spray-painted graffiti on cactuses and other objects along an Arizona hiking trail has created a conundrum for the National Park Service. While the signs and boulders that were tagged with acronyms and symbols can be repainted and scrubbed, the paint on the cactuses is another story. About 16 of...

Wind farms escape punishment for eagle deaths

May 17, 2013
Under the Obama administration, wind farms have never faced prosecution or fines for the deaths of eagles and other protected bird species. While the administration has used bird deaths to prosecute oil companies and traditional power companies, wind companies have never faced penalties -- even...

New fracking rules attempt to placate opposing...

May 16, 2013
The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a new proposal for regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, rolling back some measures from its original, abandoned draft as it sought to ease concerns the rules would be too burdensome for producers. The U.S. Interior Department scrapped a...

Controversial Tongass land-swap bill up for review

May 15, 2013
A controversial bill to allow an Alaska Native corporation to acquire roughly 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest primarily for logging goes before a House Natural Resources panel Thursday. H.R. 740 by Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) would allow Sealaska Corp...

ENR panel to mark up roughly 30 bills promoting...

May 15, 2013
A Senate committee Thursday will seek to advance roughly 30 lands bills, including measures to designate wilderness in Nevada and New Mexico, swap tens of thousands of acres of gas-rich lands in Utah, and designate a national historic park in Rhode Island. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee...

USFS to add uncertified military planes to...

May 15, 2013
The U.S. Forest Service won’t cut any funds from its retardant-bombing fleet this fire season, but it will enter the fray with a lot of planes that aren’t certified to fight wildfires. On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the agency will look to the U.S. military to supplement its...

Wind farms won't be prosecuted for condor...

May 15, 2013
The Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday said the operators of wind farms in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be charged if their turbines kill protected condors. The announcement drew anger from environmentalists, who said the move undermines the California condor program. The birds were nearly...
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