Opinions

Scoundrels and scandals in the Interior Department

As the last vestiges of laissez-faire capitalism were being lowered into the ground on Wall Street last month, out on the Western edge of the high plains an administrative circus of a similar nature was unraveling. Its center was the Minerals Management Services (MMS) division of the Interior...
October 8, 2008

Roadkill points to too many of us

I'm a student of roadkill. I keep an informal tally of the carcasses I spot on the roadside – what kind, how many and where -- and I note the splatters that accumulate on our car windshield. They're an indication of the diversity and abundance of animal and insect lives along the unnatural...
October 1, 2008

Wyoming should take the lead in alternative energy

Wyoming is one of the largest natural-gas producing states, so why isn’t the state leading the nation in powering vehicles with this abundant fuel? If the price of gasoline stays high and a natural gas-powered car can run on $1-to-$1.25 per gallon-equivalent cost, however, I think we...
October 1, 2008

Clean coal is an oxymoron

After Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made a fiery speech at the Democratic Convention, some people suggested that he’d make a fine secretary of Energy no matter who wins the election. Schweitzer may give a good speech, but his enthusiasm for coal should give one pause. The West has long...
October 1, 2008

Nailing down the heart of Montana

Everyone in Lewistown, Mont., used to know that the heart of the state was under Mrs. Dockery's kitchen sink. The prairie town's claim to host Montana's geographic center has been unabashedly celebrated, debated and defended since 1912. That was the year the Akins family moved into their stately...
September 19, 2008

We

Perhaps it is telling that when it comes to energy policy, President George W. Bush has inspired nostalgia for Jimmy Carter. "If we had only followed Carter's energy plan," people say, "we wouldn't be in this fix now." For Westerners, though, following Carter would have been a...
September 19, 2008

Zane Grey

When I was a child and stayed with my grandparents in their house at the top of a cactus-studded hill, I cherry-picked their library, which ran floor to ceiling along the entrance hall. I figured Grandpa was the one who read Zane Grey -- half a dozen of Grey’s exotic titles were lined up...
September 11, 2008

A town

The sun rises over the mountains and floods my room with light. I lie in bed and listen to the cooing of conspiring pigeons on the roof. I’ve lately moved from Cody, Wyo., to Salmon, Idaho. Cody, like other towns surrounding Yellowstone National Park, has become an expensive place to live...
September 11, 2008

Size matters when you go for

I was reading the Boulder County Business Report recently when an article about the “greenest home in North America” caught my eye. The house was being built to fulfill the dream of a businessman who specializes in renewable energy. At first glance, Ronald Abramson’s project,...
September 11, 2008

Mistakes on the fire lines can lead to prosecution

Behind daily headlines about bigger and more costly wildland fires, the firefighting community has been sweating out the issue of criminal liability for serious mistakes made on the fire line. It¹s not just a firefighter issue: The public has a stake in how well firefighters protect lives,...
September 11, 2008
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