Environmental groups prepare to sue over Wyoming wolves

Four environmental groups served notice Monday they are ready to go back to court to get stronger protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Their target is the wolf management plan for Wyoming, which allows the predators to be “shot on sight” over 85 percent of the state. It comes as no surprise since it was the major issue that drove opposition to the federal government’s wolf plan across the region including Idaho and Montana.

Idaho roadless panel gives thumbs up and down on projects

A thinning project and a reforestation program to help disappearing whitebark pine got a thumbs up.

But modifying the boundaries of a roadless area so a road could be built to construct a cell phone tower got a thumbs down. Those were the kind of recommendations the Idaho Roadless Commission made to U.S. Forest Service staff across Idaho Tuesday.

Geothermal offers low greenhouse gas emission baseload power alternative

Geothermal power plant emissions come from existing geothermal resource gases rather than from their power generation process, a new report says.

The report, by the Geothermal Energy Association, comes as California prepares to put in place a greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program. An n average geothermal power plant emits about 5 percent of the carbon dioxide, 1percent of the sulfur dioxide, and less than 1 percent of the nitrous oxide emitted by a coal-fired plant of equal size.

Idaho Power, wind supporter duel over the Internet

Wind development in Idaho is all but over but the fight between wind power supporter and Idaho Power goes on via the Internet.

A wind power supporter’s website arguing the case of an Idaho engineer, whose wind development plans were foiled by Idaho Power Co., prompted the company to respond on its own website.

Clean energy agenda helped Nevada GOP senator win

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who was appointed to replace John Ensign, narrowly defeated Democrat Shelley Berkley even as President Obama defeated Mitt Romney. Energy lobbyists say it was Heller’s support for clean energy that helped him buck the GOP Senate trend.

Nevada sees great potential for solar and geothermal development and people in both parties there support it strongly.

Rasmussen poll finds 68 percent think global warming is a serious problem

Sixty-eight percent of people surveyed by the Rasmussen Reports as likely voters said global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem.

Coming off of its election call that the race was a dead heat, the Rasmussen Reports, a Republican polling company, came back with the highest numbers its seen acknowledging the threat of climate change. It found that 38% think it’s very serious and only 30 percent don’t think it’s serious.

Appeals court panel hears arguments on Idaho roadless case

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Idaho’s national forest roadless rule Friday in Portland.

The panel, which included Idaho Senior Appeals Judge Stephen Trott, heard the appeal by the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups of the decision in 2011 of U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s decision upholding the rule.

Idaho has considerable influence despite Romney's loss

My assignment Tuesday night was to write the story on how the election outcome would affect Idaho. That required me to prepare for the possible reelection of President Obama, the election of Mitt Romney and the possibility we wouldn’t know by deadline.

I had to talk to a lot of people about a lot of subjects and about what actions a president might take and how the federal government affects Idaho. All of the Republicans I interviewed said the major impact of Romney’s election would be his close ties to Idaho and to Idahoans who could play a major role in his administration.

California Democrats' historic victory reverberates across West

For the last decade Idaho Republicans have contrasted their fiscal austerity to California’s chaos.

They and Republicans nationwide have suggested California, with the eighth largest economy in the world, was largely ungovernable. But the once and future governor, Jerry Brown, has led an amazing political turnaround Tuesday that changes the equation.

He got voters to pass an initiative to raise taxes. Democrats also won a super majority in the Legislature.

Obama's reelection, Sandy put climate change back on agenda

In a matter of two weeks Hurricane Sandy and the reelection of President Barack Obama mean that climate change is going to return to the political arena.

Obama talked about his Green energy initiative throughout the election without talking about climate change directly. That’s because he needed coal miners in Pennsylvania and Virginia to win Tuesday.

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