Environmentalists go ballistic over ESA consulting rule change

Environmentalists have accurately pointed out a number of efforts by the Bush Administration to put in place rules that would either weaken environmental laws or allow industry to move forward with projects like removing mountaintops to mine coal, build coal-fired power plants near national parks, drill for oil and gas next to national parks or explore for oil shale.

The Bush Administration has backed off several of these efforts since the light of day was shined on them. Others, like the effort to open lands next to national parks in Utah were cut back.

Kempthorne's confirmation lesson could make Salazar's job easier

Sometime early next year Sen. Ken Salazar will sit before his colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee asking them to confirm him as Interior secretary.

He might think back to how another former senator, Dirk Kempthorne performed in the same seat in May of 2006. Kempthorne took notes and had his staff prepare detailed notes about every question, every comment senators made that day they had him on the hot seat.

Salazar comes from the heart of the Next West Democrats

A quick look at the soon-to-be nominated Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: He’s a farmer. He’s a westerner. He is the former director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. He joined Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo as a co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act which allows federal agencies to charge user fees for federal land. He’s a lawyer and was Colorado Gov. Roy Romer’s chief counsel. He fought hard to protect Colorado's Roan Plateau from oil and gas development.

Montana wolf pack killing shifts ire from Wyoming, Idaho

The killing of the 27 members of the Hog Heaven wolf pack recently in Montana doesn’t meet the rhetorical narrative that has been written by wolf advocates. On the verge of the second delisting of the species in the year the decision to kill the entire pack is certain to frame the national debate to come.

Reed: Craig's scandal tame next to Blagojevich

Idaho native and former Clinton White House Aide Bruce Reed writes in a Slate column that Larry Craig’s scandal now seems minor next to Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens and Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Reed contrasts Craig’s style with the Illinois governor’s.

“The man's harshest expletive is "Jiminy God!" Reed writes. “Blagojevich and his wife curse more in one criminal complaint than Craig has cursed in his entire life.”

Groen finds seat at the table for Fish and Game

When Gov. Butch Otter convenes his “Capital for a Day,” program in Rathdrum Wednesday Idaho Department of Fish and Game director Cal Groen will be sitting by his side.

During his State of the State message earlier this year he started the examples of the accomplishments of his cabinet with Groen.

Energy choice Chu has Nobel for physics, backs nuclear and urges action on global warming

President-Elect Barack Obama has picked his energy secretary, Nobel laureate Steven Chu, the director of the Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory.

The choice puts science above politics in what could be a key center of the Obama effort to address climate change and energy independence. Chu shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and is a former chairman of the physics department at Stanford University in California and head of the electronics research laboratory at Bell Labs.

1229006632 Energy choice Chu has Nobel for physics, backs nuclear and urges action on global warming Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Transition leader Hayes now on Interior list

David Hayes, the former deputy Interior secretary under Bruce Babbitt is emerging as a candidate for the top post.

Hayes has been in charge of the transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior, Energy, and Agriculture. He is rising as avid hunter Rep. Mike Thompson is facing strong opposition from liberals and some environmental groups according to Grist. He may now be off the list.

USA Today report shows school kids get heavy doses of toxic chemicals even in Idaho

Soda Springs students breathe some of the worst toxic air in the nation when they walk out of their schools according to USA Today’s expansive series on toxic air pollution . The schools were listed among the worst 3 percent in the nation.

1228928301 USA Today report shows school kids get heavy doses of toxic chemicals even in Idaho Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Expert says the only way to reduce ozone pollution long term is to get us out of cars

Matt Stoll brings a touch of skepticism to the effort by Treasure Valley businesses and air quality advocates to put in place a comprehensive program to reduce pollution before ozone levels here exceed federal air quality standards.

Stoll, executive director of the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, used to work for the Department of Environmental Quality when it was seeking to convince Canyon County residents and leaders to join Ada County in an auto emissions testing program. He knows how deep the resistance to such a program is in Canyon County.

1228841084 Expert says the only way to reduce ozone pollution long term is to get us out of cars Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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