Environment

Interior Department calls for oil and gas leasing updates, but not ending production

BY: - November 26, 2021

The U.S. Interior Department recommended increased fees for oil and gas exploration on federal lands as part of a long-awaited report released Friday that environmental groups said didn’t go far enough in limiting fossil fuels and Republicans derided as an attack on domestic producers. The report, ordered by President Joe Biden during his first week in […]

Sage-grouse protection plans in the West under review by Biden administration

BY: - November 24, 2021

The Bureau of Land Management is updating Obama-era plans to manage the greater sage-grouse in 10 Western states. The BLM has published a request for comments to help update management plans for the bird’s habitat in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and other Western states. The Interior Department agency will review new scientific data, including the […]

Biden opens oil reserve to relieve high gas prices—but it won’t be immediate

BY: - November 24, 2021

As gasoline prices spiral ahead of the big holiday travel season, President Joe Biden authorized the release of a record 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Tuesday—complicating his administration’s goal to transition to cleaner energy sources. In prepared remarks, Biden said he coordinated the release from the reserve, a complex of four […]

Yellowstone National Park — home to the world’s largest landslide

BY: - November 24, 2021

Yellowstone is well-known as one of the largest volcanic systems in the world. Few people know, however, that the largest-known subaerial landslide on Earth is located just next door. Among the geologic hazards in the Yellowstone region, you may be familiar with the possibility of earthquakes, hydrothermal explosions, and volcanic eruptions. But what about landslides? We know […]

Colstrip residents sue companies for coal dust in the air and water seeping into their homes

BY: - November 21, 2021

COLSTRIP — Richard Burnett runs his finger along the hotel he owns in Colstrip. His index finger is covered with something that looks a little like dirt, but not quite. “I have to power wash this twice a month,” he said. Technically called “fugitive dust,” it’s what happens when the winds of the Montana prairies […]

Senate urges America to use more fossil fuels as energy prices soar

BY: - November 16, 2021

 Days after global leaders agreed for the first time to decrease coal usage and subsidies for fossil fuels, U.S. senators battled over rising gasoline prices and urged action on the high cost of energy—including by increasing production of coal, oil and gas. The Tuesday hearing, led by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin […]

Professor researching how to combat climate change by storing carbon in soil

BY: - November 16, 2021

MANHATTAN — Two carts nestle in a corner of Throckmorton 2209. As she lets the door close, Tiffany Poydras, a master’s student in agronomy at Kansas State University, stops speaking abruptly. “I almost said the D-word,” she said. Dirt. The carts were filled with small, round, foil containers holding what many people would call dirt. […]

The changing moods of Collodial Pool in Norris Geyser Basin

BY: - November 15, 2021

Many of Yellowstone’s hot springs, geysers, mud pots, and fumaroles look different depending on the season, year, or sometimes even the day one visits. Colloidal Pool, in Norris Geyser Basin, is an interesting example of a feature that changed during the course of summer 2021. Colloidal Pool is a thermal feature in the Porcelain subbasin […]

Chronic wasting disease found in deer in Baker

BY: - November 13, 2021

Chronic wasting disease was recently detected in a mule deer buck that was euthanized within Baker city limits in Hunting District 705 by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials on Oct. 27. FWP officials collected the deer after residents reported the buck was acting lethargic and was visibly emaciated and had droopy ears, which are […]

Western boom cities see a spike in ozone

BY: - November 13, 2021

The reduction of harmful ground-level ozone across most of the U.S. during the past several decades has been an air pollution success story. But in some parts of the country, especially in the heavily populated mountain valleys of the West, the odorless, colorless gas has remained stubbornly difficult to reduce to safe levels. Meanwhile, a […]

Environmental groups, tribes sue DEQ for lack of ‘bad actor’ enforcement against mining company

BY: - November 11, 2021

A coalition of Montana environmental groups and Indian tribes are suing the state for not enforcing the “bad actor” provision of the law against the former head of Pegasus Gold mining company, who is proposing two new large-scale mining projects in the state that the groups say would devastate areas of cultural significance to the […]

Climate funds in infrastructure bill aimed at drought, wildfires, floods, Interior says

BY: - November 10, 2021

The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t just about roads and bridges—it also spends billions to address wildfire, drought, flooding and other effects from climate change, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. The $1.2 trillion measure, which is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature after the House cleared it last week, includes pay raises for wildland firefighters, funding […]