Western Energy News

After bankruptcy, PG&E spent $2 million on lobbying

CALIFORNIA: Ethics filings with the State of California reveal PG&E spent at least $2.1 million this year on lobbying policymakers, including buying drinks for lawmakers who sponsored the utility’s bailout, long after declaring bankruptcy. (The Intercept)

ALSO:
PG&E CEO Bill Johnson says the utility “didn’t cause any fires” or “burn down any houses,” and California residents’ houses are “still there” because of the utility’s planned power outages. (Time)
A federal judge is demanding PG&E answer questions about the nature of the transmission line malfunction the bankrupt utility reported around the time and origin point of last month’s destructive Kincade Fire, as well as details about its planned blackouts. (San Francisco Chronicle)
PG&E could be taken over by the State of California if a plan is not agreed to after Gov. Gavin Newson meets with executives, shareholders, and others affected by the wildfires and power outages this week in Sacramento. (California Globe)

COAL: Wyoming may be seeing a cultural shift towards accepting an economy that is less dependent on coal. (E&E News, subscription)

EMISSIONS: Analysts say automakers taking sides in President Trump’s dispute with California on emissions carries political risks either way. (Automotive News)

OIL & GAS:
The Trump administration has run out of time to hold the first oil and gas lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by the end of this year. (E&E News, subscription)
Two Permian Basin oil and gas producers were hit with EPA and New Mexico violation notices over air quality regulations, including failure to capture emissions from storage vessels. (Associated Press)
A new report says major oil and gas companies will need to curb production 35% by 2040 to remain within targets set by the Paris climate agreement. (E&E News, subscription)

POLLUTION: An analysis of California’s efforts to improve air quality finds progress has stalled in recent years. (California Healthline)

PUBLIC LANDS: Two environmental non-profits representing Western states say the cost of federal land leases must be raised and Congress should value the environment and conservation above the oil and gas industry. (Carlsbad Current-Argus

UTILITIES: Utah-based utility Rocky Mountain Power has identified Public Safety Power Shutoff zones as part of a worse-case scenario wildfire prevention plan. (Deseret News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Las Cruces, New Mexico’s city council awards a contract to advise the city on adding electric buses to its transit fleet. (Las Cruces Sun News)

COMMENTARY
A Los Angeles editorial board says public ownership of PG&E should be actively explored by state and local officials. (Los Angeles Times)
An editorial board says the Trump administration’s flimsy constitutional claim about California’s cap-and-trade deal with Quebec is a pretext to stop states from fighting climate change. (Bloomberg)

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