Could Bitcoin miners help cut gas flaring in the West?

TECHNOLOGY: A Colorado company that uses excess natural gas to power cryptocurrency servers hopes to have 35 operations deployed throughout the Rocky Mountain region as soon as June. (Casper Star-Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: A California legal expert says today’s expected final rule to roll back Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards is the Trump administration’s biggest step yet to block climate action. (New York Times)

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Court upholds repeal of Obama-era fracking restrictions

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal judge on Friday upheld the Trump administration’s repeal of an Obama era rule establishing standards for fracking on public lands. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: Experts say air quality in the Los Angeles area has improved due to decreased combustion of fossil fuels during the coronavirus pandemic and recent rain. (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

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California plan would double clean energy capacity by 2030

EMISSIONS: California sets a new emissions goal for its electric sector that would double the state’s clean energy capacity by 2030. (Reuters)

CALIFORNIA: PG&E reportedly plans to pay its $4 million in fines and penalties out of the $13.5 billion trust set up for fire victims during its bankruptcy. (Los Angeles Times)

STORAGE: Analysts say an increased demand for distributed storage is likely during the coronavirus pandemic, citing California as an example. (Utility Dive) 

CLEAN ENERGY: Colorado is one of several states whose progress on clean energy legislation could face delays this session due to the coronavirus crisis. (Utility Dive)

TRANSMISSION: California’s grid operator approves a $142 million transmission plan with nine projects to address grid reliability.

Critics: Washington lawmakers failed on climate

EMISSIONS: Advocates say the Washington legislature failed to pass a single significant measure to cut greenhouse gas emissions despite setting ambitious goals to do so this year. (InvestigateWest) 

CALIFORNIA:
• Two of the fire victims’ committee members involved in PG&E’s bankruptcy have resigned, saying the utility’s $13.5 billion settlement is “deeply flawed and very risky.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
• California wildfire victims are worried that PG&E’s $13.5 billion settlement will be worth a lot less by the time the utility exits bankruptcy because of its falling stock price. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: Sunnova Energy’s CEO says southern California power customers choosing the grid over solar and storage “might as well just light some of the money in [their] wallet on fire.” (Forbes)

ELECTRIFICATION: A recent poll in California reveals a lack of consumer awareness about alternatives to fossil-fuel-burning appliances despite an anticipated boom in all-electric homes. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs a bill making it possible for electric vehicle manufacturers to sell directly to the public, but concerns are being raised about the law’s impact in the short term due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
• The new Colorado law is a big win for manufacturer Rivian, which helped push the legislation.

Solar and storage still in high demand in California

STORAGE: Solar and storage systems providers are busier than ever under California’s COVID-19 “shelter in place” directive. (Energy Storage News)

CALIFORNIA: PG&E is continuing with a Napa Valley project it says is “critical wildfire safety work … and critical to support important transmission reliability.” (St. Helena Star)

SOLAR: Colorado’s solar industry is pushing for extending tax credits so projects can be finished that were slowed down or suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Denver Post)

COAL: Another analysis finds a proposed carbon capture project in New Mexico is not economically feasible. (E&E News, subscription)

EFFICIENCY: A zero net energy archive facility is now complete in San Diego, California, part of the city’s strategic energy plan which includes energy and water efficiency in new buildings.