Sources: Contura Energy would close Wyoming coal mines within months

COAL: Sources say Contura Energy, which was approved to purchase two Wyoming coal mines from bankrupt Blackjewel this week, plans to keep the mines open for less than 12 months. (Wyoming Public Media)

POLLUTION:
• The EPA wants to reclassify the Denver region as a “serious” violator of federal health standards due to high ozone levels linked to fossil fuels. (The Denver Post)
• Challengers criticize a Salt Lake City mayoral candidate’s proposal to improve air quality by relocating an oil refinery and power plant, calling it a “desperate” and “sensationalized” effort to gain votes. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

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In California, gas industry sees risk of ‘death by a 1,000 cuts’

OIL & GAS: The president of a petroleum group warns that a Berekley, California, ban on natural gas hook-ups to new buildings could spread across the state, which would mean “death by a 1,000 cuts” for the industry. (S&P Global)

ALSO:
• Seattle’s mayor wants to tax home heating oil in an effort to push 18,000 homeowners to convert to electric heating pumps. (Seattle Times)
• Environmental groups plan to sue a Phillips 66 oil refinery in Los Angeles for allegedly mismanaging hazardous waste for years. (Los Angeles Times)
• Conservation groups say they will fight a lawsuit by fossil fuel companies seeking to overturn a 2016 rule that increased the royalties companies pay for extracting coal, oil and gas from federal lands. (Wyoming Public Media)
• Industry supporters clash with environmentalists during a public hearing on the adoption of stricter rules for methane emissions from oil and gas operations in New Mexico.

Los Angeles County adopts plan to phase out fossil fuels

FOSSIL FUELS: Los Angeles County adopts a sustainability plan that calls for phasing out fossil fuels over the next 30 years. (City News Service, Curbed LA)

COAL: A federal judge approves the sale of two Wyoming coal mines from bankrupt Blackjewel to Contura Energy, which has promised to reinstate 500 jobs at the sites. (Star-Tribune)

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STORAGE: An Arizona utilities commissioner says lithium-ion batteries in large-scale energy storage projects “create unacceptable risks,” following a battery storage fire in the state earlier this year.

Colorado county opens ‘one-stop shop’ for drilling

OIL & GAS: In an effort to expedite oil and gas development, a county outside Denver opens Colorado’s first local oil and gas department to process drilling permit applications and regulate well pads. (Denver Post)

ALSO:
• Local officials and business leaders urge California lawmakers not to eliminate the use of natural gas in homes and businesses as part of an effort to reduce emissions. (The Press-Enterprise, NPR)
• The EPA selects a former oil and natural gas industry executive to lead the agency’s Region 6, which includes 66 tribal nations, New Mexico and four other states. (Farmington Daily Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for Transmission Summit West by Infocast, October 22-24 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Connect with regulators, utilities, and transmission experts to explore new regional coordination approaches, examine emerging business models enabling needed investments, and answer future transmission development questions.

Massachusetts initiates second 800 MW offshore wind buy

OFFSHORE WIND: Massachusetts officials and the state’s electric utilities move to procure up to 800 MW of additional offshore wind power. (State House News Service)

ALSO:
• A German offshore wind developer tells a New Hampshire energy conference it will explore the possibility of setting up shop at a coastal tradeport. (NHPR)
• Companies vying for offshore wind contracts in New York make economic development pitches to Long Island officials to sweeten their bids. (Newsday)

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SOLAR: Vermont developers say even though net-metering reimbursement rates are declining, the industry still has a bright future in the state.