Articles written by Matthew Brown

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Trump's land boss pledges to steer clear of ex-clients

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration's top steward of public lands has recused himself from work involving dozens of former clients following conflict of interest allegations from Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates,...

 

Man's confessions in 1998 murder met doubt, now faces life

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — More than 17 years after he slashed the throat of a teenage clerk while robbing a Montana video store, Zachary O'Neill says guilt overcame him and he tried to tell authorities. But it was another three years after he first...

 

Appeals court upholds Trump move to drop mine pollution rule

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. appeals court panel sided with the Trump administration Friday in a mining pollution dispute, ruling that state and federal programs already in place ensure that companies take financial responsibility for future...

 

New climate study ordered for Colorado, Utah energy leases

DENVER (AP) — U.S. officials must consider climate change effects from leasing about 250 square miles (648 sq. kilometers) of public lands in Colorado and Utah for oil and gas drilling, under a federal court ruling issued Wednesday. The order from...

 

Exxon agrees to $1 million penalty for Montana oil spill

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed to pay a $1.05 million penalty to settle alleged federal water pollution violations from an oil pipeline break into Montana's Yellowstone River, according to court documents filed Friday. Approval of...

 

Judge: Resumption of US coal sales by Trump needs review

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday ruled that the Trump administration failed to consider potential damage to the environment from its decision to resume coal sales from U.S. lands, but the court stopped short of halting future...

 

Former US Interior boss parlays post into private career

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is quickly parlaying his time in President Donald Trump's cabinet into a lucrative private career. He's landed a more than $100,000-a-year post at a Nevada mining company and is...

 

US judge blocks oil, gas drilling over climate change

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge blocked oil and gas drilling across almost 500 square miles (1,295 sq. kilometers) in Wyoming and said the U.S. government must consider climate change impacts more broadly as it leases huge swaths of public land for...

 

US eases land restrictions meant to protect bird in West

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday finalized changes to sweeping federal land use plans for the West, easing restrictions on energy companies and other industries in a way officials said would still protect a struggling bird...

 

Trump's national monument changes return to spotlight

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As Democrats in Congress prepare to scrutinize President Donald Trump's review of 27 national monuments, most of the recommendations made by ex-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke remain unfinished as other matters consume the...

 

US keeps air pollution standard established under Obama

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. environmental regulators on Tuesday announced they are leaving intact an air quality standard for power plant pollution that can worsen asthma in children, despite calls by health advocates for a tougher rule. The move k...

 

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — As the Trump administration rolls back environmental and safety rules for the energy sector, government projections show billions of dollars in savings reaped by companies will come at a steep cost: more premature deaths and...

 

Outgoing US Interior secretary defends legacy as he leaves

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — As former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke exits Washington chased by ethics investigations and criticism of his actions favoring industry, he told The Associated Press he's lived up to the conservation ideals of Theodore...

 

APNewsBreak: US miscalculated benefit of better train brakes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration miscalculated the potential benefits of putting better brakes on trains that haul explosive fuels when it scrapped an Obama-era rule over cost concerns, The Associated Press has found....

 

Ruling that blocked grizzly bear hunts appealed by US

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. government attorneys filed notice Friday that they are appealing a court ruling that blocked the first public hunts of grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies in decades. The appeal challenges a judge's ruling that...

 

Interior Secretary Zinke resigning, cites 'vicious' attacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, facing federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will be leaving the administration at year's end, President Donald Trump said Saturday. In his...

 

States cite climate worries in push to stop US coal sales

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Four states that say burning coal will hurt their residents as it makes climate change worse are trying to stop the Trump administration from selling vast reserves of the fuel that are beneath public lands. Attorneys for...

 

US to ease oil drilling controls protecting imperiled bird

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration moved forward Thursday with plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling, mining and other activities that were put in place to protect an imperiled bird species across millions of...

 

Experts seek ways to boost extreme wildfire survival rates

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to expe...

 

Trump administration sides with tribes in drilling dispute

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court ruling that would allow oil and gas drilling on land considered sacred to Native American tribes in Montana and Canada, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday....

 

West Coast military installations eyed for US fuel exports

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is considering using West Coast military installations or other federal properties to open the way for more U.S. fossil fuel exports to Asia in the name of national security and despite opposition...

 

US bans new mining claims on public land near Yellowstone

EMIGRANT, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the towering mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday, after two proposed gold mines raised concerns that an area drawing...

 

Judge restores energy lease on Montana land sacred to tribes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some tribes in the U.S. and Canada — a ruling that could test the depths of the Trump administration's support for the energy...

 

Trump rolls back pollution rules for drilling on US lands

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration on Tuesday rolled back an Obama-era rule that forced energy companies to capture methane — a key contributor to climate change that's released in huge amounts during drilling on U.S. and tribal...

 

Glacier latest US park to be scorched by Western wildfires

A wildfire destroyed structures and forced evacuations Monday from the busiest area of Montana's Glacier National Park, as officials in California prepared to reopen Yosemite National Park following a two-week closure at the height of the summer...

 

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