Latest Billings News

FILE - In this May 8, 2003, file photo, a Northern Spotted Owl flies after an elusive mouse jumping off the end of a stick in the Deschutes National Forest near Camp Sherman, Ore.. The Trump administration is moving to restrict what land and water can be declared as

US officials seek limits on "habitat" for imperiled species

Jul. 31, 2020 7:12 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to restrict what land and water areas can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals — potentially excluding locations that species could use in the future as climate change upends ecosystems. An administration...

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2015, file photo, oil pump jacks are seen in McKenzie County, in western North Dakota. The Trump administration is seeking to ease more rules for oil and gas drilling that were adopted under the Obama administration, with the latest changes projected to save energy companies almost $140 million over the next decade. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Trump administration easing more Obama-era oil and gas rules

Jul. 30, 2020 3:49 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to ease more rules for oil and gas drilling that were adopted under the Obama administration, with the latest changes projected to save energy companies more than $130 million over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management proposal would...

FILE - This April 26, 2020, file photo shows empty lanes of the 110 Arroyo Seco Parkway that leads to downtown Los Angeles during the coronavirus outbreak in Los Angeles, Calif. A record drop in U.S. energy consumption this spring was driven by less demand for coal that's burned for electricity and oil that's refined into gasoline and jet fuel. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

US energy use hit 30-year low during pandemic shutdowns

Jul. 29, 2020 5:21 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. energy consumption plummeted to its lowest level in more than 30 years this spring as the nation’s economy largely shut down because of the coronavirus, federal officials reported Wednesday. The drop was driven by less demand for coal that is burned for electricity and...

This photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an Arctic grayling captured in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish trap at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Lima, Montana. U.S. wildlife officials have rejected federal protections for the rare, freshwater fish species at the center of a long-running legal dispute. The decision, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, comes almost two years after a federal appeals court faulted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for dismissing the threat that climate change and other pressures pose to Arctic grayling. (Jim Mogen/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

US wildlife agency rejects protections for rare fish species

Jul. 22, 2020 7:14 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials on Wednesday rejected special protections for a rare, freshwater fish related to salmon that's been at the center of a long-running legal dispute, citing conservation efforts that officials say have increased Arctic grayling numbers in a Montana river. The...

Montana governor: Federal land agency boss acting illegally

Jul. 20, 2020 7:13 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sued the Trump administration on Monday to block the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from continuing in the position until he's been confirmed by the Senate. Federal law prohibits William Perry Pendley from leading the bureau in an...

A BNSF Railway train hauling carloads of coal from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming is seen east of Hardin, Mont., on July 15, 2020. A coalition of states is renewing its push to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

States try again to block coal sales that Trump revived

Jul. 20, 2020 5:20 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A coalition of states, environmentalists and American Indians on Monday renewed its push to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands after a previous effort to halt the lease sales was dismissed by a federal judge. Joined by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and...

The Latest: Arizona extends pandemic moratorium on evictions

Jul. 16, 2020 10:44 PM EDT

PHOENIX — Arizona renters dreading the expiration of a coronavirus-related moratorium on evictions will get a reprieve. Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday the ban on evictions would be extended until Oct. 31. Arizona’s 120-day order had been due to end July 22. It was supposed to ensure people...

The Canyon Creek Memory Care Community is seen in Billings, Mont. on Friday, July 10, 2020. The facility that cares for people with dementia and other cognitive issues has seen at least seven deaths since a coronavirus outbreak sickened almost all its residents and many staff members. The Montana memory care facility that didn't carry out no-cost COVID-19 testing on its residents is reeling from an outbreak that has sickened more than 50 residents and 36 staff. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Care home refused free tests. Now, nearly everyone has virus

Jul. 14, 2020 5:53 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — It was meant to be a last line of defense to protect the most vulnerable as the coronavirus spread across the United States: Montana officials offered free testing in May for staff and residents at assisted living and long-term care facilities. But not all of them followed through,...

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. A federal judge on Monday, July 6, 2020, ordered the pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

Setbacks hamper pipeline industry backed by Trump

Jul. 9, 2020 5:17 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — After a U.S. energy boom and strong backing from President Donald Trump propelled a major expansion of the nation’s sprawling oil and gas pipeline network, mounting political pressures and legal setbacks have put its future growth in doubt even as the pandemic saps demand for...

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2013 file photo, a grizzly bear cub searches for fallen fruit beneath an apple tree a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont. Wyoming and U.S. officials are urging an appeals court to reverse much of a judge's ruling that blocked state-sponsored hunting of the animals. (Alan Rogers/Casper Star-Tribune via AP, File)

Appeals court: Judge was right to revive grizzly protections

Jul. 8, 2020 6:51 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. appeals court said Wednesday that a federal judge was right to restore protections for about 700 grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region of the Rocky Mountains, after federal officials sought to turn over management of the animals to states that would have allowed them to be...