Latest Billings News

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...

In this April 13, 2020, photo provided by TC Energy, construction contractors for TC Energy are seen installing a section of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline at the U.S.-Canada border north of Glasgow, Mont. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris has struck down a nationwide permitting program for new oil and gas pipelines in a lawsuit against the controversial Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada. (TC Energy via AP)

Court rejects bid to revive cancelled US pipeline program

May. 28, 2020 6:39 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday turned down the Trump administration's request to revive a permit program for new oil and gas pipelines, an outcome that industry representatives said could delay more than 70 projects across the U.S. and cost companies up to $2 billion. The case...

FILE - This Dec. 22, 2018, file photo shows a pump jack over an oil well along Interstate 25 near Dacono, Colo. Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Trump's fossil fuel agenda gets pushback from federal judges

May. 28, 2020 3:54 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. Judges have ruled...

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of females southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. Judge Brian Morris said in a late Friday, May 22, 2020 ruling the Trump administration failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles of public lands in Wyoming and Montana. (Jerret Raffety/The Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

Judge strikes down US energy leasing rules in bird habitat

May. 26, 2020 5:18 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. Judge Brian Morris...

Authorities: Bear attacks mountain biker in southern Montana

May. 26, 2020 12:44 AM EDT

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — A mountain biker was attacked by a grizzly bear Monday near the southern Montana community of Big Sky, according to authorities. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Morgan Jacobsen told the Billings Gazette that the man was able to walk away and find help. He was...

Heidi Hannah holds her head in her hands, as she is joined by her sons Tomas, 10, left, and Lucas, 8, right, at a Memorial Day visit to the grave of her oldest son, Army Specialist Taylor Hannah, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif., Monday, May 25, 2020. Public Memorial Day events at the cemetery were canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Taylor Hannah, 22, died March 1, 2020 of a rare blood disease. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Pandemic brings smaller, subdued Memorial Day observances

May. 25, 2020 8:31 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Americans settled for small processions and online tributes instead of parades Monday as they observed Memorial Day in the shadow of the pandemic, which forced communities to honor the nation’s military dead with modest, more subdued ceremonies that also remembered those lost...

FILE - In this April 4, 2013 file photo, a truck carrying 250 tons of coal hauls the fuel to the surface of the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Mont. A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday, May 22, 2020, from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's administration had fixed its initial failure to consider the environmental impacts of ending the moratorium. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown,File)

Judge nixes bid to stop coal sales that Trump revived

May. 22, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's...

Judge rejects bid by states, tribes to stop coal sales from US land after Trump administration brought them back

May. 22, 2020 3:26 PM EDT
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Judge rejects bid by states, tribes to stop coal sales from US land after Trump administration brought them back.
This photo from early May, 2020, provided by Angeline Cheek shows Curtis Yazzie as he demonstrates at a construction site for the XL Pipeline just inside the U.S.-Canadian border near Saco, Mont. Members of several tribes in Montana and North Dakota traveled to the border crossing for a small protest against the pipeline earlier this month, according to Cheek, an activist from Montana's Fort Peck Tribe and organizer for the ACLU of Montana. Calgary-based TC Energy has built the first piece of the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline across the U.S. border and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota. (Angeline Cheek via AP)

First piece of disputed Keystone XL pipeline finished

May. 21, 2020 9:37 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Canadian company has built the first piece of the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline across the U.S. border and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota. But it has not resolved a courtroom setback that would make it hard to finish the $8 billion project. 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 royalty rates for oil and gas

May. 20, 2020 8:10 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration has started giving energy companies temporary breaks on royalties and rent they pay to extract oil and gas from leases on public lands because of the coronavirus pandemic. The move drew quick criticism as a handout to industry that will mean less money for...