Energy and Environment in the West

Trump administration to reconsider protections for rare sage grouse

The Trump administration will consider revising protections for one of the West's rare and iconic birds, the greater sage grouse.

Hawaii rebels against Trump with a law to uphold the spirit of the Paris climate accord

Hawaii has passed a law to document sea level rise and set strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning the state's goals with the Paris climate accord.

China is now looking to California – not Trump – to help lead the fight against climate change

President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris accord has put China in partnership with California in pushing the global climate agenda.

Tillerson, at Arctic meeting, signs document affirming need for action on climate change

Rex Tillerson signed a document that affirms taking international action against climate change, adding further confusion about Trump's climate policy.

Reviving debate over Bears Ears National Monument also revives racial tension in a remote corner of Utah

President Trump is considering rescinding or reducing the size of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.

Environmental groups sue to block Trump's offshore drilling order

Environmental groups sue to block Trump order that could open coastal waters to offshore oil drilling

Trump order could open California coast, Arctic to new oil and gas drilling

President Trump is expected to sign an order that could open up vast swaths of U.S. coastline to oil and gas drilling.

Trump signs order to reconsider national monuments created by Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton

The fierce debate over public land in the West is expected to further intensify with a Trump executive order reviewing national monuments created in last two decades.

There's fear that the EPA's request for a court delay may lead to dirtier air

The Environmental Protection Agency asked a court to delay arguments in a case involving Obama-era smog rules. Does that portend a relaxing of the regulations?

A building boom and climate change create an even hotter, drier Phoenix

As a concept, Phoenix never made sense, and yet 1.5 million people managed to make a home in a scorching desert, and it worked. That was before the climate started changing.

Congress votes to allow controversial hunting practices in Alaska

Congress repeals rules that prevent the killing of bear and wolf cubs in Alaska wildlife refuges.

Will grizzly bears again roam the North Cascades?

A decades-long effort to restore the grizzly bear population in the North Cascades is expected to reach its conclusion next year.

Oil could begin flowing through Dakota Access pipeline as early as next week

A federal judge declined Tuesday to temporarily stop construction of the final section of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, clearing the way for oil to flow as soon as next week.

Ryan Zinke was confirmed with less rancor than other Trump picks, but where he'll take Interior Department isn't clear

The Senate has confirmed Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary, responsible for more than 400 million acres of public land, mostly in the West.

Last holdouts are cleared from main Dakota Access pipeline protest camp

aw enforcement on Thursday entered the largest Dakota Access pipeline protest camp, where just a few dozen opponents of the pipeline remained in defiance of a deadline to evacuate.

Wet winter has improved Colorado River basin's water forecast, but the drought endures

Thanks to a very wet winter, the Colorado River, essential to nearly 40 million people, now appears likely to avoid a shortage next year.

At Standing Rock, the nation's most famous environmental protest, not just any toilet will do

One of the nation’s largest and longest environmental protests created an elaborate composting toilet operation that is a marvel of efficiency and an unlikely center of community.

Journalist faces charges after arrest while covering Dakota Access pipeline protest

A journalist arrested Wednesday in a broad sweep of a “rogue” protest camp near the Standing Rock reservation is facing criminal charges from North Dakota authorities.

Waning days of the Standing Rock protests: An improvised tribe of Americans looking for 'justice!'

Part of what drew many people to Standing Rock has been the chance to see themselves anew in pursuit of a larger cause, a greater good - whatever they perceive it to be.

Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline

The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to end its relationship with Wells Fargo in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Trump approves pipelines as a way to put 'America first.' But will they really?

The slow evolution of the U.S. becoming a country ready to lead the world in moving away from fossil fuels has been upended in a matter of days by President Trump.

A new president, a new predator and a liberal island is worried about its way of life

As Donald Trump takes office, liberal islanders in Washington state feel an anxious blend of realization, determination and fear.

Interior secretary nominee Ryan Zinke tells lawmakers he opposes the sale of public land

Ryan Zinke faces questioning for nomination as Interior Secretary.

Is this the year the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be targeted for oil drilling?

For decades, conservationists have made the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a keystone in the fight to protect fragile Arctic wildlife. But this year all bets are off. The first drilling bills are in

The hottest year in history sees the election of a new president who questions climate science

The year 2016 is expected to be declared the hottest in recorded history just as the United States prepares to inaugurate a president who questions whether climate change is real.

Obama designates two new national monuments in the West

Further burnishing his environmental legacy, President Obama on Wednesday designated two new national monuments in rugged areas of Utah and Nevada

How much will really change for the West's oil and gas industry under Trump?

Even as many people in the oil and gas industry are thrilled at the prospect of the Trump administration, experts say it's wrong to just blame government for restricting oil and gas production.

Wounded on the front line at Standing Rock, a protester refuses to give up her fight

On the night Vanessa Dundon was shot in the eye, she was on the front lines looking up at a phalanx of police.

Obama will use his executive authority to impose new permanent bans on offshore drilling

Obama will use his executive authority to permanently ban new drilling off parts of the Atlantic coast and the Arctic in a bid to boost his environmental legacy.

Ryan Zinke, Trump's pick as Interior secretary, is all over the map on some key issues

A profile of Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Interior Secretary.

This Northwest timber county hadn't voted GOP since Herbert Hoover. But times have changed

Grays Harbor, WA, hasn't voted for a Republican since Herbert Hoover. Until they went for Trump. Trump can't bring timber back but he's revived a contrary political voice in timber country

Why are thousands of geese dying in a toxic pit in Montana?

Thousands of snow geese die after landing on the toxic Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana.

Conservation efforts rush to beat a deadline: Inauguration Day

Conservation groups hope Obama administration will protect public lands before President-elect Trump takes office.

Canadian government rejects pipeline through rainforests of British Columbia

The Trudeau government has rejected the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline through British Columbia, while approving two others.

North Dakota governor orders evacuation of Standing Rock protest site, but no forcible removals planned

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rescinded an earlier plan to force demonstrators out of a protest site over the proposed Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.

Obama administration bans Arctic offshore oil drilling through 2022. But will Trump reverse it?

The Interior Department's five year plan for offshore drilling bans operations in the large parts of the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans

Here's how the Obama administration proposes to reduce greenhouse gases

Here's how the United States proposes to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change -- with or without federal government action.

Dakota pipeline protesters win temporary victory with promise for more review

The Obama administration said Monday it will continue to delay the Dakota Access pipeline while it conducts more analysis and consults with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Dakota Access pipeline developer asks federal court for permission to proceed

The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is seeking a federal court's permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota and finish the four-state project.

Will Paris climate accord and other environmental pacts survive a Trump presidency?

How will a Trump administration affect U.S. policy concerning climate change agreements, environmental regulation and pipeline building?

There's a reason few even knew the Dakota Access pipeline was being built

Unlike many major energy projects, domestic oil pipelines often do not require an overarching federal permit.

Oregon standoff verdict takes on new meaning in a tense election year

Will the not-guilty verdicts embolden the militia movement and others who argue that the country has reached a point where citizens need to act according to conscience, not the law?

How a tax on carbon has divided Northwest climate activists

On Election Day, less than a week after the historic Paris climate accord is set to take legal effect, voters here in Washington state will have the chance to establish one of the world’s most ambitious policies for fighting climate change: the first statewide tax on carbon emissions.

It helped save the ozone layer. Now the refrigerant is being phased out as a culprit in global warming

In a major effort to fight climate change, nearly 200 nations reached a deal to limit powerful greenhouse gases

Human-caused warming doubled how much of the West has burned since 1984

Human-caused warming doubled how much of the West has burned since 1984, study finds

Wyoming rejects tax on wind energy that will likely be sold in California

Wyoming kills proposal to increase the state's wind tax, a unique -- and some contend desperate -- effort to offset to downturn in the coal, oil and natural gas markets.

The $3.7-billion pipeline that became a rallying cry for tribes across America

Plans for a $3.7 billion, 1.134-mile pipeline to carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois have touched off a protest involving tribes from across the U.S. Here's what the fight is about.

The forecast for Lake Mead: Hot and dry with plenty of anxiety

A reckoning arrives every August for the Colorado River and the 40 million people who depend on it. What's the elevation of Lake Mead? The answer in recent years has been depressingly the same.

With echoes of Wounded Knee, tribes mount prairie occupation to block North Dakota pipeline

Hundreds of tribal members have gathered on the prairie grass above the Missouri River to stand in the path of a 1,170-mile pipeline project they say will mar sacred ground and endanger their lone supply of drinking water. On horseback or in the beds of pickup trucks, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have blocked bulldozers and earthmovers, but a bigger showdown looms – a federal court fight that could halt the mammoth pipeline project. YARDLEY. Dateline: Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Nuclear accident in New Mexico ranks among the costliest in U.S. history

A 2014 accident in an underground nuclear waste dump could cost more than $2 billion to clean up and is complicating disposal efforts around the country.

Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it's taxing those who use it

The world is ready to pay for more renewable energy, and Wyoming has lots of wind. Who owns it? Wyoming decided it did.

Facing historically low levels, Lake Mead officials are fending off a water war. Here's how

Arizona's top water manager hopes to prevent a water war over the Colorado River by continuing to take incremental steps to conserve.

In Phoenix, an ambitious plan aims to cover 25% of the metropolis with tree shade

Phoenix, not known for being green, is planting more trees.

Oil refiners agree to pay $425 million to reduce air pollution in the West

The Justice Department announces a major civil settlement over protection of Western air quality.

Obama administration strengthens Arctic drilling restrictions

The Obama adminstration announced new rules that make it harder to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Oakland bans coal shipments in a blow to planned export facility

Arguing health risks, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to ban coal shipments Monday night, killing a plan to transport Utah coal to Asia through a proposed marine terminal.

Is this booming Northwest land a paradise or disaster waiting to happen?

For decades, an idealized land known as Cascadia has existed in the imaginations of tree-huggers and eco-enthusiasts, a sustainable region in the Northwest that would transcend borders and political divisions. Now Cascadia has been mapped with precise boundaries. And in addition to the rich agricultural lands and power generating rivers is a deep fault line -- one capable of triggering a mega-earthquake.

Bald eagles pose an increasing risk at U.S. airports. Here's how officials are trying to protect them.

One third of all bald eagle-versus-plane collisions occur in Alaska, where four people were killed after an eagle hit an aerial photography flight recently near Anchorage. As their populations grow, bald eagles are an increasing threat to planes across the U.S., according to USDA researchers. What is an airport to do about a protected, not-so-smart bird the size of a Thanksgiving ham?

After occupation, Oregon's Malheur wildlife refuge is returning to 'a new normal'

You can count coots again. Sandhill cranes, too.

U.S. rejects proposed coal export facility, siding with one Indian tribe over another

Army Corps of Engineers rejects proposed coal export facility

In the fight over fracking, Colorado state laws trump local bans, court rules

In the fight over fracking, Colorado state laws trumps local laws, court rules

Wildfire at Fort McMurray quickly overtakes Canada's environmental debate

-- A wildfire was growing just outside Fort McMurray, but Matt Hepditch went to work in the oil sands the way he always does.

The Paris climate accord is about to be signed. Here's what happens next

Global climate rehab begins with a three-step process: Adopt. Sign. Join.

'A dire prediction' on melting ice sheets and rising sea levels

Seattle continues quest to get greener as it grows with 'transformative' light-rail expansion

It is just a modest extension -- two stations added to 13 others already in existence on a line that serves a tiny fraction of the population in one of the

'A dire prediction' on melting ice sheets and rising sea levels

The predictions only get worse.

Coal represents the polluted past -- except in the interior West

Environmentalists and energy experts have been saying it for a while now. So have private investors and federal regulators. Lawmakers across the West are

In the Iditarod, climate change makes it a year for the record books

The winters keep getting warmer. The racers keep getting faster.

Arch Coal abandons plans for controversial mine in Montana

Two months after Arch Coal filed for bankruptcy protection amid a steep decline in the coal industry, the company has announced that it will stop pursuing a

U.S. and Canada pledge to cut methane emissions as part of broad climate change agreement

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday announced a wide range of environmental initiatives to combat climate change, expand

Federal authorities reject plan for development with 2,200 homes near Grand Canyon

A years-long effort to turn a tiny town near the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park into the site of 2,200 new homes and a sprawling commercial area was

Grizzly bears are rebounding in Yellowstone. Should hunting be allowed to keep numbers in check?

A decade after federal wildlife officials tried and failed to remove protections for grizzly bears that live in and near Yellowstone National Park, they are

Oklahoma takes action on fracking-related earthquakes — but too late, critics say

They feel them in the little city of Cushing, where a web of pipelines and giant oil storage tanks makes the area a crucial international hub -- and vulnerable.

Mining companies' declining fortunes imperil the restoration of land they've mined

Mining companies' fortunes are tied to land reclamation. So the government is helping failing firms continue operating.

After the Oregon standoff, a new occupation begins -- this time it's the birds

The same day four final holdouts ended the armed occupation of a remote wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon, a new occupation was just getting underway.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy arrested as Oregon standoff holdouts say they will surrender

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher whose refusal to pay federal grazing fees led to an armed standoff with law enforcement two years ago, was arrested late

Federal indictment says protesters in Oregon occupation 'threatened violence'

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday charges Ammon Bundy and 15 other people involved in the standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge with a single

He roams alone: El Jefe may be the last wild jaguar in the U.S.

They call him El Jefe and he roams alone.

Justified shooting? Residents near Oregon occupation site debate FBI video

The Internet is not the only place where a passionate and often anonymous debate took place Friday over what a video released by the FBI revealed about the

Two weeks in, the Oregon refuge standoff is stuck 'in limbo'

The rancher arrived with the evening snowfall. He wore a white hat, a silk scarf and a face carved with Western credibility. The Bundy brothers were not

Tension between ranchers and federal officials is dangerously high in Nevada

Gerald "Jerry" Smith grew up in Nevada and went to work for the Bureau of Land Management right after college. As a local, he figured he was uniquely suited to

Poll shows majority in West opposes giving states control over federal land

federal land, poll, Bundy family, West, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado

In North Dakota, an oil boomtown doesn't want to go bust

People loved to leave this town. Kids grew up and got out. Take me to Minot, they would say. To Fargo or Bismarck. Anywhere but this emptiness.

U.S. wildlife officials reject protections for an Alaska wolf in decline

For more than two decades, conservation groups have argued that a wolf and the rainforest in southeast Alaska where it lives are at risk.

Oregon standoff: Who's really getting hurt by federal grazing laws?

The standoff at a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon has put a spotlight on an often overlooked conflict over grazing rights on federally owned land that has

Forest Service likely to get more money to fight wildfires, at least for a year

Late last summer, with wildfires burning throughout the West and the U.S. Forest Service announcing yet again that it would have to borrow money to fight them,

Utah official who helped arrange loan to ship coal through California resigns

A Utah official who quietly helped arrange a $53-million loan using public money so that coal-producing counties in his state could export coal to Asia through

How Utah quietly made plans to ship coal through California

The troubled U.S. coal industry has said for years that its future is in Asia. The question has been how to get there.

Climate awareness and the economy influenced Obama's rejection of Keystone XL pipeline

Shifting politics of oil and climate change contributed to President Obama's decision to reject Keystone XL pipeline.

New twist in Keystone controversy: Pipeline owner TransCanada asks for a delay

TransCanada has asked the U.S. to delay reviewing the Keystone XL pipeline

Control of federal lands emerges as an issue in the GOP presidential race

If Ken Ivory could ask the Republican presidential hopefuls a question at their debate Wednesday night in Colorado, the state lawmaker from Utah would raise a

Toxic Colorado mine blowout could have been prevented

The blowout at an abandoned Colorado gold mine in August that sent 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste into rivers below could have been prevented by the

Rare Alaskan wolf is caught in the balance between ecosystems and economies

The story of the wolves, the island and the ancient forest began long before there were struggling sawmills and endangered species.