Energy & Environment http://kuer.org en Residential Solar Users Asked to Pay More for Power http://kuer.org/post/residential-solar-users-asked-pay-more-power <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Rocky Mountain Power subsidizes new solar power installations through its Blue Sky program. But it’s also insisting it needs additional money from residential customers who have solar panels on their homes.</p><p>The <a href="http://psc.utah.gov/utilities/electric/elecindx/2013/13035184indx.html">Utah Public Service Commission</a> is preparing for a hearing next week on Rocky Mountain Power’s request for residential solar power users to pay four dollars and 65 cents a month to connect their homes to the grid.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:43:14 +0000 Dan Bammes 49597 at http://kuer.org Residential Solar Users Asked to Pay More for Power State Sets Water Priorities On Virgin River Tributaries http://kuer.org/post/state-sets-water-priorities-virgin-river-tributaries <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>A drought in southwestern Utah means there’s not enough water to fulfill the needs of all property owners in the area. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports on the priority list that’s leaving some Washington County water users dry this year.</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:45:02 +0000 Judy Fahys 49498 at http://kuer.org State Sets Water Priorities On Virgin River Tributaries Rail Line Would Deliver Uinta Basin Energy to Markets http://kuer.org/post/rail-line-would-deliver-uinta-basin-energy-markets <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Plans are moving forward to build a 100-mile rail line from </span>Duchesne<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, through the wild </span>Uinta<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Basin, and into Price. </span>KUER’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Judy </span>Fahys<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reports on the ambitious and expensive proposal to move Utah energy products into the market.</span></p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:52:16 +0000 Judy Fahys 49274 at http://kuer.org Rail Line Would Deliver Uinta Basin Energy to Markets Interim Committee Will Look at Stricter State Air Quality Regulations http://kuer.org/post/interim-committee-will-look-stricter-state-air-quality-regulations <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Utah’s current law prohibits state regulators from imposing any air quality regulations stricter than federal requirements. A bill that would change that will be up for discussion in a legislative committee this week.</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:00:35 +0000 Dan Bammes 49249 at http://kuer.org Interim Committee Will Look at Stricter State Air Quality Regulations Advocates: Oil Shale Will Deplete Water Resources http://kuer.org/post/advocates-oil-shale-will-deplete-water-resources <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An environmental group says developing oil shale in the West would require enormous amounts of water – and it’s pointing to a recent court case to back up its argument.</span></p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:03:43 +0000 Dan Bammes 48953 at http://kuer.org Advocates: Oil Shale Will Deplete Water Resources Salt Lake County Helps HawkWatch International Study Kestrel Falcons http://kuer.org/post/salt-lake-county-helps-hawkwatch-international-study-kestrel-falcons <p>Salt Lake County is teaming up with <a href="http://www.hawkwatch.org/" target="_blank">HawkWatch International </a>to help study and track the smallest falcon in North America known as the kestrel falcon.</p><p>Mike Shaw is a volunteer with the organization. Right now he’s reaching up into one of the 150 nest boxes the organization has put out across the Wasatch front and pulling out the baby kestrel falcons.</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:31:20 +0000 Brian Grimmett 48794 at http://kuer.org Salt Lake County Helps HawkWatch International Study Kestrel Falcons Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Wants to Prevent the Spread of the "STD of the Sea" http://kuer.org/post/utah-division-wildlife-resources-wants-prevent-spread-std-sea <p>The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is launching a new campaign to help stop the <a href="http://wildlife.utah.gov/learn-invasive-mussels.html" target="_blank">spreading of invasive mussels</a> in Utah lakes.</p><p>In the new campaign the DWR is asking people to “practice safe boating” by cleaning, draining, and drying their boats to prevent the spread of the “STD of the Sea.” Jordan Nielson is the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at the DWR. He says if the mussels spread it could severely damage the state’s infrastructure used to bring water to population centers.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:37:57 +0000 Brian Grimmett 48701 at http://kuer.org Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Wants to Prevent the Spread of the "STD of the Sea" U of U Atmospheric Scientist Counting Down OCO-2 Launch Wednesday http://kuer.org/post/u-u-atmospheric-scientist-counting-down-oco-2-launch-wednesday <p></p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 00:18:12 +0000 Bob Nelson 48656 at http://kuer.org U of U Atmospheric Scientist Counting Down OCO-2 Launch Wednesday Agency Extends Deadine for Water Pipeline http://kuer.org/post/agency-extends-deadine-water-pipeline <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Communities in the Southwestern part of the state want to develop Utah’s unused share of Colorado River water.&nbsp; A federal agency is now putting pressure on the state’s water office to hand in its application for that development.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:10:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 48441 at http://kuer.org Agency Extends Deadine for Water Pipeline Salt Lake City Connects New Trio of Solar Power Arrays http://kuer.org/post/salt-lake-city-connects-new-trio-solar-power-arrays <p><a href="http://www.ci.slc.ut.us/">Salt Lake City</a> officials flipped the “on” switch Wednesday celebrating the completion of three large solar projects to power city buildings. &nbsp;1.7 million kilowatts of electricity annually will come from the solar farm connected to the <a href="http://www.mocamanage.com/slcweb/">Public Safety Building</a>, and the city’s operation center at Plaza 349. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker says Utah’s energy codes are 30 percent less efficient than federal standards and he says leaders at the state level need raise those standards. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:53:37 +0000 Bob Nelson 48417 at http://kuer.org Salt Lake City Connects New Trio of Solar Power Arrays Utah High Court Clears Way for Tar Sands Mine http://kuer.org/post/utah-high-court-clears-way-tar-sands-mine <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>The nation’s first tar sands mine has been planned for the wild Book Cliffs in eastern Utah. But was stuck in legal limbo until a ruling Tuesday from the Utah Supreme Court.</p><p>The justices opted against allowing an environmental group to challenge a state water pollution permit for the project.</p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 48307 at http://kuer.org Utah High Court Clears Way for Tar Sands Mine Global Warming Prompts Local Lobbyists http://kuer.org/post/global-warming-prompts-local-lobbyists <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Decision makers are hearing a lot about global warming this week.</span></p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 23:18:42 +0000 Judy Fahys 48251 at http://kuer.org Global Warming Prompts Local Lobbyists Bipartisan Bill Simplifies Land Swaps http://kuer.org/post/bipartisan-bill-simplifies-land-swaps <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>New, <a href="http://robbishop.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=385128" target="_blank">bipartisan legislation</a> in Congress would advance public education and conserve important landscapes by making it easier to transfer lands between government agencies.</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:31:02 +0000 Judy Fahys 48133 at http://kuer.org Bipartisan Bill Simplifies Land Swaps First Wind Announces Another PPA with Rocky Mtn Power in a Month http://kuer.org/post/first-wind-announces-another-ppa-rocky-mtn-power-month <p>Renewable energy company <a href="http://www.firstwind.com/">First Wind</a> has finalized four more 20-year power purchase agreements, or PPA’s, with <a href="https://www.rockymountainpower.net/index.html">Rock Mountain Power</a>. The latest PPA announced Thursday is for power generated from the company’s planned 320 megawatt “Four Brothers” solar development in Beaver and Iron Counties. Cody Stewart is Governor Gary Herbert’s Energy Advisor. He says the agreement has been in the works for a long time.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:48:34 +0000 Bob Nelson 48122 at http://kuer.org First Wind Announces Another PPA with Rocky Mtn Power in a Month Lawmakers Spar With Feds Over Policing Public Lands http://kuer.org/post/lawmakers-spar-feds-over-policing-public-lands <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>There’s been debate all over the West for years about who’s best to police federal lands. On Wednesday, leaders from local, state and federal government agreed the best way to resolve the disputes is to keep talking.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:03:49 +0000 Judy Fahys 48011 at http://kuer.org Lawmakers Spar With Feds Over Policing Public Lands Fire Season Pauses For Now Thanks to El Nino http://kuer.org/post/fire-season-pauses-now-thanks-el-nino <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p>Utah’s <a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Salt+Lake+City&amp;state=UT&amp;site=SLC&amp;textField1=40.7608&amp;textField2=-111.89&amp;e=0#.U6CzEWRdXZU" target="_blank">cold, wet spell</a> is expected to continue through Wednesday, and that could cause a welcomed pause in the fire danger.</p><p>The long-term forecast projects a 70 to 80 percent likelihood of El Nino weather conditions for the rest of the year. And that could ease the drought in Utah.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 22:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47949 at http://kuer.org Fire Season Pauses For Now Thanks to El Nino Park City Native Plant Sale Aims to Reduce Water Consumption http://kuer.org/post/park-city-native-plant-sale-aims-reduce-water-consumption <p></p><p>The annual native plant sale takes place Saturday morning at Recycle Utah in Park City. Organizers say replacing that Kentucky bluegrass with Wasatch penstemon will help conserve water - an increasingly valuable resource in Utah.</p><p>Utah is the second largest consumer of water per person in the nation, and Utahns use about two-thirds of that water on lawns and landscapes.&nbsp; Executive Director of Park City Conservation Association Insa Riepen says that’s an irresponsible and unnecessary use of a valuable resource.</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:36:38 +0000 Andrea Smardon 47774 at http://kuer.org Park City Native Plant Sale Aims to Reduce Water Consumption San Juan County Tries to Assume Control of Recapture Canyon; BLM Still Investigating ATV Protest http://kuer.org/post/san-juan-county-tries-assume-control-recapture-canyon-blm-still-investigating-atv-protest <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dozens of all-terrain-vehicle riders drove into San Juan County’s Recapture Canyon a month ago. Federal authorities say that ride into off-limits territory was illegal, but they haven’t filed any charges yet.</span></p><p>Now, the San Juan County Commission is asserting authority over the scenic trail in a non-binding resolution. Recapture is filled with ancient burial sites and antiquities, and county leaders say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is taking too long to decide how to safeguard them.</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:40:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47698 at http://kuer.org San Juan County Tries to Assume Control of Recapture Canyon; BLM Still Investigating ATV Protest Colorado River Roars While Southern Utah Withers http://kuer.org/post/colorado-river-roars-while-southern-utah-withers <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The runoff will start tapering to an end soon in northern Utah after near normal flows. But southern parts of the state are still starved for moisture.</span></p><p>Brian McInerney, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, says many of the reservoirs in northern Utah are doing alright even though it’s been a pretty dry spring. Meanwhile, big storms have been drenching Colorado and making the Green and Colorado Rivers roar.</p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 23:40:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47661 at http://kuer.org Colorado River Roars While Southern Utah Withers High Pollution Triggers New Regulations for Utah Drillling http://kuer.org/post/high-pollution-triggers-new-regulations-utah-drillling <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The energy boom in eastern Utah has brought with it a big pollution problem.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The&nbsp;</span>Utah Division of Air Quality has been studying it, and its now implementing new regulations to cut emissions.</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:30:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47451 at http://kuer.org High Pollution Triggers New Regulations for Utah Drillling Energy Summit Considers All-of-the-Above Options http://kuer.org/post/energy-summit-considers-all-above-options <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Utah's energy community met Wednesday at Gov. Gary Herbert’s 3<sup>rd</sup> annual Energy Development Summit to talk about the state's all-of-the-above approach to powering everyday life.</p><p>The Republican governor reminded his audience that energy is one of his administration’s top four priorities. He said energy pumps around $5 billion into Utah’s economy each year.</p><p>But Herbert said good jobs and a high standard of living have to be balanced with conserving the environment.</p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:19:08 +0000 Judy Fahys 47337 at http://kuer.org Energy Summit Considers All-of-the-Above Options BLM Releases Report on Little Valley Wash Oil Spill http://kuer.org/post/blm-releases-report-little-valley-wash-oil-spill <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week, the Bureau of Land Management released a final report on an oil spill that occurred near Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 23:50:39 +0000 Terry Gildea 47336 at http://kuer.org BLM Releases Report on Little Valley Wash Oil Spill Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan http://kuer.org/post/utah-prepares-new-climate-plan <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Environmental Protection Agency released an <a href="http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/" target="_blank">ambitious plan</a> Monday to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Several </span>Utahns<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are already working on next steps.</span></p><p>David Folland, a leader of the grass roots <a href="http://citizensclimatelobby.org/" target="_blank">Citizens Climate Lobby</a> in Utah, is pleased to see progress finally being made on the issue.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47283 at http://kuer.org Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan Utah Braces for New Power Plant Regulations http://kuer.org/post/utah-braces-new-power-plant-regulations <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Obama administration promised last year to crack down on the pollution blamed for climate change, and now the Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to take a big step in carrying out that pledge.</span></p><p>On Monday, EPA is expected to roll out new regulations on existing power plants. Those plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions associated with global warming.</p><p>And a new report by a think tank called Ceres says Utah has a relatively high output of CO2.</p> Sat, 31 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47112 at http://kuer.org Utah Braces for New Power Plant Regulations Utah Strategy on Sage Grouse Advances http://kuer.org/post/utah-strategy-sage-grouse-advances <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Utah leaders are pressing forward with their aggressive campaign to keep the Greater Sage Grouse off the endangered species list.</span></p><p>Republican Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is co-sponsoring <a href="http://gardner.house.gov/press-release/members-house-senate-introduce-legislation-protect-sage-grouse" target="_blank">a new bill</a> to block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adding the sage grouse to the federal list of Endangered and Threatened Species.</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47001 at http://kuer.org Utah Strategy on Sage Grouse Advances Green River Leak Prompts Call for Prevention http://kuer.org/post/green-river-leak-prompts-call-prevention <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A cleanup is </span><a href="http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/SaltWashSpill.html" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">still underway</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> nearly a week after authorities learned that an oil well was spewing contaminated water near the Green River. Over the weekend, the petroleum reached the river, and now some observers want to focus on preventing future accidents.</span></p> Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 46933 at http://kuer.org Green River Leak Prompts Call for Prevention Vandals Deface Pre-Historic Rock Art http://kuer.org/post/vandals-deface-pre-historic-rock-art <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Over the weekend, vandals defaced&nbsp; an area of Nine Mile Canyon that contains rock art dating back more than thousand years.&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 27 May 2014 22:42:10 +0000 Terry Gildea 46941 at http://kuer.org Vandals Deface Pre-Historic Rock Art Pricey Lands Study Overlooks Economic Value of Conserved Lands http://kuer.org/post/pricey-lands-study-overlooks-economic-value-conserved-lands <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">State lands officials gave a </span><a href="http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&amp;clip_id=17547&amp;meta_id=517975" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">status report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to lawmakers last week on the potential costs of taking over federal lands within Utah. What the report didn’t talk about – environmental costs -- is raising concerns for conservation advocates.</span></p> Mon, 26 May 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 46839 at http://kuer.org Pricey Lands Study Overlooks Economic Value of Conserved Lands Utah Youth Conservation Corps Gets Boost from Obama Administration Initiative http://kuer.org/post/utah-youth-conservation-corps-gets-boost-obama-administration-initiative <p>Utah youth conservation groups are expected to get a significant portion of the <a href="http://www.doi.gov/news/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&amp;pageid=534535">$6.7 million dollars in funding announced yesterday by U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewel</a>l. The total amount comes from various public agencies with matching funds from private groups as part of <a href="http://21csc.org/">President Obama’s 21<sup>st</sup> Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative</a>. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:18:20 +0000 Bob Nelson 46765 at http://kuer.org Utah Youth Conservation Corps Gets Boost from Obama Administration Initiative Emergency Crews Near Green River Stop Well Leak http://kuer.org/post/emergency-crews-near-green-river-stop-well-leak <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Local, state and federal emergency officials have plugged an oil well spill near Green River after the well gushed out of control for more than a day.</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 00:15:21 +0000 Judy Fahys 46728 at http://kuer.org Emergency Crews Near Green River Stop Well Leak