A long delayed experiment to demonstrate how a global warming gas can be locked up forever deep underground has finally started. Technicians working with the Pacific Northwest National Lab are injecting carbon dioxide down a well south of Pasco, Washington.

A squadron of U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters in southern Idaho that had been grounded by federal budget cuts since April is finally resuming flying operations.

The 391st Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base reinvigorated operations Wednesday after the Air Force Council approved a plan to shift millions of dollars.

This means pilots and weapon systems officers stationed at the desert base south of Mountain Home will return to the skies, including nearby training and bombing ranges where jets practice their missions.

Official U.S. Air Force

Furloughs have begun at Mountain Home Air Force base. Friday is the first day many civilian workers had to stay home after across-the-board budget cuts – known as the sequester – take effect.

Chief Master Sergeant Alex del Valle says the furloughs are already changing base operations. He says the civilian airmen work alongside the military airmen, and their support is essential.

More than 800 Idaho National Guard employees will start taking furlough days mandated by federal budget cuts.

Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano says about 860 full-time employees will have one unpaid day off each week between now and the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30. Marsano says the federal budget cuts affect 860 military technicians and civilian workers.

The federal budget cuts took effect when Congress failed to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan.

Robin Wagner / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s regional airport towers have been given a short reprieve from federal budget cuts known as the sequester. That includes Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Lewiston and Hailey. The towers are now set to close on June 15th.

Closing the towers means planes could still fly, but pilots would take on the responsibilities the towers now hold.

Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr Creative Commons

Airports in Hailey and Pocatello will close their air traffic control towers on May 5. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County and Idaho Falls Regional Airports are also set to close sometime after April 7.

Mike Crapo

Sequestration is looming, with the across-the-board $85 billion federal budget cuts now less than a day away.  Among those watching closely to see what happens is Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.

As the deadline gets closer, Crapo expects several attempts to hold off sequestration.  He’s heard of at least three bills that will come up for a vote. “One will be on the President’s proposal to avoid the sequestration by raising taxes and setting off some of the sequestration by agreeing not to do it.” 

Robin Wagner / Flickr Creative Commons

Friday's looming sequestration deadline has left federal agencies struggling to come up with contingency plans.  According to the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration's [FAA] budget would be cut by $600 million. 

At the air traffic control tower at Boise’s airport, manager Gordon Stewart stays away from the political debate. He’s faced potential cuts before, but Stewart says two days away from the deadline -- these cuts seem very possible.