Latest Billings News

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...

FILE - In this March 11, 2020, file photo provided by the Bureau of Land Management is the proposed route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline where it crosses into the United States from Canada in Phillips County, Mont. The U.S. Supreme Court has handed another blow to the disputed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key permit for the project. However, the order Monday, July 6, 2020, also put on hold the lower court ruling as it pertains to other oil and gas pipelines across the nation. The Trump administration had argued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit program that has been in the place since the 1970s was functioning properly when it was canceled by a Montana judge in April. (Al Nash/Bureau of Land Management via AP, File)

US Supreme Court deals blow to Keystone oil pipeline project

Jul. 6, 2020 9:56 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project. Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the...

Amid virus fight, campaign season brings ethical quandaries

Jul. 3, 2020 11:58 AM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Candidates in the November election who already hold office are grappling with a thorny question: where does the coronavirus stop and the campaign begin? In Montana, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s actions helped keep the state’s infection rate from the COVID-19...

FILE - This on Feb. 27, 2016, file photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, from a remote camera set by biologist Chris Stermer, shows a mountain wolverine in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee, Calif., a rare sighting of the predator in the state. U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to decide by the end of August 2020, whether climate change and other threats are pushing the rare wolverine closer to extinction. Government attorneys and conservation groups that sued to force a decision filed court documents Thursday, July 2, settling the lawsuit and agreeing to the deadline. (Chris Stermer/California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP, File)

US sets deadline for wolverines protection decision

Jul. 2, 2020 4:06 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to decide by the end of August whether climate change and other threats are pushing the rare wolverine closer to extinction in the mountains of the West. Government attorneys and conservation groups that had sued to force a decision filed court...

FILE - This Feb. 17, 2010, aerial file photo, shows the town of Libby Mont. With a decades-long cleanup of asbestos contamination in the town largely completed, state officials are taking over the effort to protect residents from future exposure to the potentially deadly material. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

US transfers care for towns polluted with asbestos to state

Jul. 1, 2020 7:00 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State regulators are taking over maintenance of a decades-long environmental cleanup in two northwestern Montana towns where lung-damaging asbestos contamination has been blamed in hundreds of deaths. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday transferred responsibility...

In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaks at an event marking a conservation agreement at a former mining site in Jardine, Mont. Steve Bullock never got to square off directly against President Donald Trump before dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary race last year. But the two-term governor is getting another chance on his home turf by trying to oust a strong Trump ally, first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines in Montana's U.S. Senate race. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

With his sights now on Senate, Bullock still battling Trump

Jun. 11, 2020 4:00 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Steve Bullock never got to square off against President Donald Trump before dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary last year, but the two-term governor is getting another chance on his home turf by trying to oust a strong Trump ally in Montana's U.S. Senate race. The...

FILE - This Feb. 21, 2012, file photo, shows equipment in the oil fields of the Uintah Basin, southeast of Vernal, Utah. The Trump administration has started giving energy companies temporary breaks on royalties they must pay for oil and gas extracted from federal lands because of the coronavirus pandemic, government data shows. Royalty rate cuts so far have been authorized for at least 76 energy leases in Utah. (Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

Trump administration cuts oil, gas fees in hundreds of cases

Jun. 10, 2020 7:35 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration has awarded energy companies hundreds of breaks on payments for oil and gas extraction from U.S. lands and the Gulf of Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government database and federal officials. The temporary breaks on royalty and rental...

FILE - In this March 29, 2020, file photo, a bird flies among wind turbines near King City, Mo. The Trump administration is moving to scale back criminal enforcement of a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species. The former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told AP billions of birds could die if the government doesn't hold companies liable for accidental bird deaths. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

US moves forward with plan to end wild bird protections

Jun. 5, 2020 2:15 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration moved forward Friday with plans to scale back a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species despite warnings that billions of birds could die as a result. Officials said in a draft study of the proposal that it could result in more deaths of...

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2010, file photo, then-Secretary of Natural Resources-designate Doug Domenech speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get a family member hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said. The Interior Department's Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the unnamed relative when that person was seeking a job at the agency.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Probe: Top US official misused office to get son-in-law job

May. 29, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The Interior Department's...