Western Energy News

A day after new ownership, Montana coal mine shuts down

COAL: A Montana coal mine suddenly ceases operations because of a disagreement over whether its new owner should be immune as a tribal entity from future lawsuits for environmental violations or reclamation costs. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ALSO: The Navajo Transitional Energy Company announced that its acquisition of Cloud Peak coal mines in Wyoming and Montana was finalized October 23. (Farmington Daily Times)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E tells state regulators a transmission tower that had been inspected earlier this year malfunctioned near the origin of a recent wildfire and apparently had broken equipment. (San Francisco Chronicle)
The utility could begin a new round of planned power outages lasting several days this weekend and released a map revealing more customers could be affected than previously indicated. (Mercury News, Lost Coat Outpost)
PG&E is considering a $5 million program to reimburse Californians with disabilities and serious medical conditions for costs incurred during its planned blackouts. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A California lawmaker says the state’s government and regulators also have to share the blame for the power and wildfire problems. (Chico Enterprise-Record)
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s plan to to leave PG&E advanced during a meeting of the city’s rules committee; the proposal will next be presented to the city council November 19. (KNBC)

ELECTRIFICATION: Chinese restaurant owners in California fear they may be forced to give up gas stoves, which are seen as necessary to create the taste and texture of their cuisine. (Marketplace)

OIL & GAS:
Disagreements continue in Colorado over new rules intended to put human and environmental health at the center of how oil and gas drilling is carried out. (Denver Post)
Colorado’s oil and gas regulator says its new restrictions on oil and gas drilling near homes after a state study finds short-term health risks from chemical exposure is a “a pragmatic, reasonable response.” (Greeley Tribune)
Zenith Energy is threatening to sue the city of Portland after officials rejected a plan that would have expanded capacity at a fossil fuel export terminal that has become a target for activists. (Oregonian)

CLIMATE: The concerns of Western state and local governments and young climate activists are included in a new analysis on climate change lawsuits against oil and gas companies across the country. (InsideClimate News)

PUBLIC LANDS: The U.S. House is set to vote on legislation to preserve public lands in Colorado and two other bills focused on the Grand Canyon and Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico. (Colorado Independent)

WIND: The developer of Hawaii’s Kahuku wind farm project says deliveries of wind turbine parts are on schedule despite efforts by protestors to delay the work; meanwhile police deny protesters were mistreated during arrests. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new analysis explores Tesla’s rocky road to turning a profit. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
A media organization says PG&E’s power cuts are a symptom of deeper problems, but solutions won’t be easy. (The Economist)
Some critics say California policymakers shouldn’t be too quick to put San Diego Gas & Electric on a pedestal when comparing its planned blackouts to PG&E’s. (Comstock Magazine)
An editor says it’s easy to criticize PG&E, but at least its bankruptcy is being financed by private investors rather than taxpayers. (Sacramento Business Journal)

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