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Submitted by Newsroom on January 30, 2012 – 9:20 amNo Comment

AP-WY–Right Now/960
Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

COAL-PIPELINE

Pipeline company sues operator of Wyo. coal mine

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A dispute between a natural gas pipeline operator and a coal mine in southwestern Wyoming has landed in court.

Utah-based Northwest Pipeline GP claims that operations at Chevron’s coal mine near Kemmerer shifted the earth near two interstate pipelines. Northwest has filed a lawsuit against Chevron Mining Inc. seeking at least $20 million to pay for the pipelines to be protected and moved.

The lawsuit also claims that mining activity caused U.S. Highway 30 to buckle and crack. The Wyoming Department of Transportation said there was minor damage to a 300-foot section of the road but it couldn’t be directly linked to mining.

A Chevron spokeswoman said that Chevron stopped mining while work was done on the pipeline but wouldn’t comment on the suit.

JACKSON-FOREST LAND

Jackson applies to buy US Forest Service property

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) — Jackson officials want to purchase 10 acres of U.S. Forest Service property in the community’s downtown area.

The town of Jackson recently submitted a final application to Bridger-Teton National Forest in which the town requested a direct sale of the parcel.

The federal government discourages direct sales of its property because it is noncompetitive and might not result in the highest return.

The town therefore must show the sale would provide “substantial public benefit,” that no other land is available and that it could pay for the purchase.

The Forest Service estimates the parcel is worth $8 million to $10 million. It wants to have a deal done by November.

SAGE GROUSE-UTAH

Utah to craft sage grouse protection plan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah officials have been scrambling to craft a sage grouse-protection plan to possibly replace new federal guidelines they fear will harm the state’s mining industry and hinder oil, gas and wind energy development.

Utah Department of Natural Resources director Mike Styler told a gathering of industry and conservation interests last week that Gov. Gary Herbert’s administration will form a committee to come up with the plan within the next three months.

Utah officials are following the lead of Wyoming, which imposed restrictions on development in designated core areas of sage grouse habitat. Because Wyoming crafted a plan that federal biologists like, the state can opt out of most federal rules until a potential 2015 endangered species listing.

CHEYENNE HOTEL FIRE

Hitching Post owners seek to dismiss fire lawsuit

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The owners of a landmark Cheyenne hotel that was destroyed in a 2010 arson are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by its insurance company.

It’s the latest in legal action related to the Hitching Post hotel.

In December, Delaware-based CJM Hospitality LLC sued insurer National Surety Corp. in federal court in New Jersey for not paying for nearly $14 million in damages from the fire. This month, National Surety filed a lawsuit in Wyoming arguing the fire was started by the hotel’s owners and that therefore, it owes CJM nothing.

CJM has filed legal papers saying National Surety’s lawsuit should be dismissed because its lawsuit in New Jersey covers the same subject.

National Surety’s lawyer says he’ll file a response in court.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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