Western Energy News

A $2 billion solar plan hinges on outcome of Nevada ballot measure

UTILITIES: A Nevada utility announces plans for the largest investment in solar energy in the state’s history but there’s a catch: it will pull the plug if voters approve an energy choice ballot measure it opposes. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

ALSO: An Arizona utility sinks $5 million into political action committees to defeat a clean energy ballot initiative. (Arizona Republic)

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NUCLEAR: After failing to find investors, Toshiba Corp. is scrapping plans to build two new reactors at a South Texas nuclear plant. (Reuters)

POLITICS: Two New Mexico utility regulators are calling for the head of a clean energy non-profit to resign after she accused them of a conflict of interest involving a local solar company. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA this year has awarded tens of millions dollars worth of biofuel credits to Texas and Utah refiners after initially denying their waiver requests. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• A political group funded by Colorado’s largest oil and gas companies has $8.4 million and plans on using the money to defeat a ballot measure to increase drilling setbacks. (Colorado Public Radio)
• The outgoing chancellor of the University of Texas leaves office without deciding whether to convene a task force to study limiting methane emissions from drilling on school-owned land. (Austin American-Statesman)
• In Colorado, a population boom collides with an oil and gas boom. (New York Times)
• Some residents of central Oklahoma worry that drilling in the area is depleting local water sources. (KFOR)

RENEWABLES: Austin residents ask city officials to get started on studies aimed at showing how the municipal utility will achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals. (Austin Monitor)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Texas is set to begin offering rebates for electric and alternative fuel vehicles as part of a state air quality program. (Houston Chronicle)

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SOLAR:
• The University of Northern Colorado receives a $500,000 grant to install solar arrays. (Biz West)
• A county in northern New Mexico is installing solar panels on 45 buildings as part of its efforts to reduce energy costs. (KRQE)

COMMENTARY:
• The Navajo and Hopi people have the most to lose if an Arizona coal plant closes 20 years ahead of schedule, says a state senator. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• The New Mexico State Land Office has been a rubber stamp for extractive industries and that needs to stop, says a Democratic candidate for state land commissioner. (Albuquerque Journal)

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