California utility bankruptcy: First casualty of climate change?

PG&E BANKRUPTCY
• Energy experts say PG&E’s bankruptcy filing is one of the first major financial casualties from climate change, and won’t be the last. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Meanwhile, the utility’s outgoing CEO is expected to take home a severance ranging from $2.3 to $4.4 million dollars. (Bloomberg)
• California lawmakers aren’t rushing to bail out the state’s largest utility now that it’s filed for bankruptcy protection. (San Francisco Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

OIL & GAS:
• The Colorado Supreme Court rules that Colorado regulators don’t have to prioritize public health and the environment over other considerations when issuing drilling permits.

California’s largest utility to file for bankruptcy

UTILITIES: Facing a growing wildfire-fueled financial crisis, PG&E will file for bankruptcy in California by the end of January, according to a company filing with the Securities Exchange Commission. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: Nevada’s largest utility is losing its grip over the state as the result of the departure of several large customers, a new report shows. (Nevada Independent)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

SOLAR: A Colorado wholesale power provider plans to develop a 100 MW solar plant, which will double the amount of solar energy it currently produces. (Denver Post)

COAL:
• New Mexico regulators order regulatory proceedings to begin immediately for the shutdown of a coal-fired power plant in the northwestern part of the state.

Colorado governor: cities should have more say on oil and gas

POLITICS: Colorado’s new governor says he intends to give local governments more control over where oil and gas companies operate, a long-running conflict in the state where population growth and drilling frequently collide. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• New Mexico’s largest electric utility won’t disconnect service for federal employees who are behind on their bills because of the partial government shutdown. (Associated Press)
• California’s largest utility has restored gas service to the wildfire decimated community of Paradise. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

NUCLEAR:
• A panel overseeing the decommissioning of a California nuclear plant wants to the process to begin as soon as it closes in 2024.

Oregon court rejects youth climate lawsuit

CLIMATE: An Oregon appeals court has rejected a lawsuit filed by children who say the state isn’t doing enough to fight climate change. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Carbon emissions are up everywhere, including California, where dry conditions prompted the state to turn to gas plants when hydropower dwindled. (Grist)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

UTILITIES:
• California regulators will soon conduct a financial stress test on the state’s largest utility to better understand how much more wildfire liability it can take on and continue operating. (Bloomberg)
• California’s new governor says the state needs a “healthy” utility that’s able to invest in the future.

Study: Colorado could save billions by closing coal plants

COAL: New research shows how Colorado could save $2.5 billion through 2040 by rapidly phasing out its coal-fired power plants while lowering customers’ bills. (Vox)

WIND: A western Colorado electric co-op announces plans to develop a 100 MW wind farm which could help it meets its ambitious clean energy goals nine years ahead of schedule. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

SOLAR: A Virginia-based power company launches the world’s largest solar plus storage plant in Hawaii, making solar power available at night and bolstering the state’s clean energy ambitions. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• New Mexico regulators suspend a previous order allowing a Texas company to double its well density in the northwestern part of the state.