Montana Supreme Court hands another victory to solar developers

SOLAR: For a second time in a month, Montana’s Supreme Court rules against state regulators on a solar project, this time saying the PSC “chose unlawful methodologies” that made a proposed 80 MW project uneconomical. (Billings Gazette)

ALSO: California officials grant exceptions for solar projects in a decision to grant temporary endangered status to the Joshua tree. (Los Angeles Times)

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Taxpayers may lose out on $50 million in Wyoming coal royalties

COAL: Bankruptcy filings show Blackjewel still owes more than $50 million in unpaid royalties to the federal government for two Wyoming coal mines, and it’s unclear whether the money will ever be recovered. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The future of Arizona electric truck firm Nikola is in question after its founder abruptly resigned Sunday amid fraud investigations. (Arizona Republic)

***SPONSORED LINK: The National Solar Tour is going virtual! Sep. 24-Oct.

Investigation finds oil companies profited from California spills

OIL & GAS: An investigation finds that oil companies have for decades profited from inland spills linked to a controversial fracking technique by recovering and refining the oil. (ProPublica/Desert Sun) 

• Colorado’s oil and gas industry sends a letter to Gov. Jared Polis on proposed 2,000-foot setbacks, saying it would undermine the industry’s economic recovery. (Denver Post)
• A New Mexico Representative says the state’s oil and gas industry is stabilizing  as the economy gradually reopens, but at a significantly reduced level of activity. (Albuquerque Journal)

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Effort to speed climate action in California faces pushback

CALIFORNIA: Some California lawmakers are hesitant to accelerate its 100% carbon-free electricity mandate, despite the state’s grid operator dismissing political narratives that renewable energy is to blame for outages. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

ALSO: Scientists estimate that California’s wildfires this year through mid-September put about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air. (Washington Post)

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Downed power lines to blame for at least 13 Oregon wildfires

TRANSMISSION: A fire incident report indicates at least 13 Oregon wildfires were caused by downed power lines, but questions are being asked about why lines remained live for two utilities before winds knocked them down. (KTVZ, Salem Statesman Journal) 

• A community choice aggregator launches a $28 million electric vehicle charging infrastructure program in a California county. (Environment + Energy Leader)
• Arizona-based electric truck startup Nikola is the subject of two federal inquiries following a report accusing it of fraud, which the company disputes. (Axios)

***SPONSORED LINK: The National Solar Tour is going virtual! Sep.