Western Energy News

$150 million solar project clears a major hurdle in Montana

SOLAR: The Montana Land Board has approved the lease of 1,300 acres for what could become the largest solar project ever built in the state despite objections from some residents concerned about potential impacts to grazing rights. (Montana Standard)

ALSO: As it puts its Oregon factory up for sale, a California solar manufacturer is refocusing operations on storage and energy services. (Greentech Media)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A major oil company is offering electric vehicle charging at a handful of its California gas stations. (Bloomberg)
• Colorado regulators give utilities one year to come up with a plan addressing how they will support the transition to electric vehicles. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: An Oregon lawmaker plans to file legislation asking voters to change the state constitution to allow funds generated from a proposed cap and trade program to be used for electric vehicle rebates. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

RENEWABLES: Salt Lake City moves up its timeline to use 100% renewable energy from 2032 to 2030. (Fox 13)

NATURAL GAS: Attorneys for thousands of residents of a Los Angeles-area neighborhood will be in court this week seeking restitution for a 2015 natural gas leak. (KABC-TV)

PIPELINES: Wyoming is working to merge two state agencies that oversee pipelines, transmission lines and advanced coal technologies. (Gillette News Record)

POLITICS: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet releases his presidential plan to fight climate change which would require utilities to provide “zero-emission energy to every household and business.” (Politico)

HYDROPOWER: Some Republican state lawmakers are urging the Washington governor to veto a $750,000 study looking at breaching four hydropower dams on the lower Snake River. (Tri-City Herald)

OIL & GAS:
• The surge of drilling in the Permian Basin is driving up hotel rates in Carlsbad, New Mexico, where some prices rival those found in places like Los Angeles and New York City. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• Alaska Natives and climate activists opposed plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling during a protest outside a major oil company’s Denver headquarters. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
• The Los Angeles mayor’s plan to fight climate change is a “huge step forward,” for the city, says an associate vice chancellor of UCLA. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Western energy group opposed to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions insists it takes climate change seriously but just disagrees on how to deal with it. (The Oregonian)
• Higher rates for customers of Arizona’s largest utility approved in 2017 “are not just, nor are they reasonable,” says a Phoenix resident who filed a formal complaint with state regulators who will decide the matter this week. (Arizona Republic)

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