Nate Hegyi

Reporter

Nate Hegyi is a reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau based at Yellowstone Public Radio. He earned an M.A. in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism in 2016 and interned at NPR’s Morning Edition in 2014. In a prior life, he toured around the country in a band, lived in Texas for a spell, and once tried unsuccessfully to fly fish.

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The Trump administration's aluminum tariffs could cost thousands of dollars for breweries in the Mountain West.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

There are hundreds of microbreweries scattered across the Mountain West. In fact, in parts of our region there are more breweries per capita than most anywhere else in the country.

Many of them sell their beers in aluminum cans. So with the Trump administration’s proposal to slap a steep tariff on imported aluminum, the beer industry is feeling nervous.

Chris Marchion takes a look at the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area in southwestern Montana.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Life’s been tough on Chris Marchion. There was the high school football injury and the knee replacement.

“Unfortunately I got a hip that’s wore out,” he says.

We’re standing alongside a gravel road near a cow pasture. Nowadays, this is about as close as Marchion can get to the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area. It’s a clump of rolling, grey mountains in the distance.

A coal train in the Powder River Basin
Jerry Huddleston / Flickr

Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story Kathleen Sgamma was quoted as saying reducing royalty rates increases revenue for industry and the federal government.  Her point was in fact that reducing regulatory barriers achieves this goal.

On Wednesday, an Interior Department advisory panel will propose changing how the government receives royalties from coal dug up on federal lands. But some critics are calling foul as panel members either come from the energy industry or energy-producing states.


oil well
Montana Public Radio

The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

“This is a huge red flag,” says Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation group says it would cost taxpayers more than six billion dollars to clean up all the wells on federal land.

Many members of Congress have returned to their home states this week to make the rounds at their local offices and meet with constituents.

Montana Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines made a stop Wednesday morning at the western Montana town of Phillipsburg where he toured a craft brewery.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi caught up with Daines at the noisy microbrewery. 


The wind chill dropped to nearly 50 degrees below zero near the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in Montana.
NOAA

Bitterly cold temperatures are gripping much of the Mountain West this week. Wind chills have hit almost 50 degrees below zero in Montana and Wyoming.


A coal train in the Powder River Basin
Jerry Huddleston / Flickr

Coal lease rates have hit a new low in Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. This is the money companies pay to the federal government to dig up coal from public lands.


Nearly 200 homes are still without running water on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation after a cold snap broke pipes there last Friday.
Nate Hegyi / Yellowstone Public Radio

Many small towns and reservations across the Mountain West face crumbling bridges, roads and water systems. President Trump’s new infrastructure plan may address these problems in the rural West. But a Montana reservation is dealing with an infrastructure crisis right now.

Senator Jon Tester meets with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday.
Office of Jon Tester

Time is running out. Congress still needs to approve a must-pass budget bill tonight or else the government shuts down. The Senate version doesn’t include a fix for the DACA program. This has one recipient in Montana feeling anxious.


Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines helped reintroduce a bipartisan bill Tuesday that would bring high-speed internet to rural parts of the state.

In a press release, Daines says the bill cuts red tape and better allows companies, state and local governments to install broadband infrastructure on federal land.

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