Yellowstone River Eyed for Colorado Users?

Aaron Flint posted on December 13, 2012 15:04 :: 730 Views

Those of us who don’t want to see Fort Peck Lake drained any further received some good news earlier this month when the feds turned down a request to release more water for downstream users.  However, it’s also interesting to note that the Yellowstone River has also been proposed as a potential source for users further south who are dependent on the Colorado River.  

The AP has this in The Bismarck Tribune

The federal government isn’t going to tap the Missouri River to slake the thirst of a drought-parched Southwest, the government’s top water official said Wednesday.

Salazar bluntly dismissed proposals like the multi-billion dollar pipeline running some 670 miles from the Missouri River to Colorado. Tapping the Mississippi, Green, Bear, Snake, Yellowstone and Columbia rivers also made a list of options that Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Kip White said weren’t currently getting serious consideration.

There is also new speculation concerning a potential sale of PPL Montana’s coal and hydro assets in Montana.  The liberal Missoula Independent has this:

Last week, Clearing Up, a subscription-only trade publication that covers Northwest energy markets, reported that PPL Montana is looking to sell all of its electricity-generation assets in the state. The article, authored by Ben Tansey, states that the company has hired the investment bank UBS to shop its portfolio of coal and hydroelectric facilities, which includes the company’s quarter-share of the Colstrip Generating Station, the second-largest coal-fired plant west of the Mississippi.

Clearing Up is the third trade publication in recent months to report that PPL Montana, a subsidiary of PPL Corp., wants to divest of its two coal plants and 11 hydroelectric plants in Montana.

The University of Montana’s Pat Barkey is then quoted, blaming not only the cheap price of natural gas, but also regulations against coal-fired power plants. 

And, while Politico notes that a “huge divide” remains on the farm bill on Capitol Hill…Bob Stallman with the American Farm Bureau says don’t blame ethanol in a letter to the editor in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The farm share of the food dollar in 2008 was just 11.6 cents.

The rest of the food dollar involves all post-farm activities including processing, energy, packaging, transport, trade, servicing, advertising, labor and anything else required in the food-supply chain. Energy and transportation costs together accounted for 10.3 cents in 2008—almost as much as the farm share itself.

Our food system is multifaceted. Assigning blame to one ingredient in this complex recipe is a disservice to America’s farmers and disingenuous to America’s consumers.

Click below to read the full letter:

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