Western Energy News

Air pollution in Colorado decreasing significantly during pandemic

POLLUTION: New data indicates air pollution in Colorado has dropped considerably as fewer fossil fuels are consumed during the coronavirus crisis. (Denver Post)

CALIFORNIA: Another member of the fire victims’ committee involved in PG&E’s bankruptcy has resigned, saying she did so in order to publicly criticize the utility’s $13.5 billion settlement. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR: California’s energy commissioner says President Trump’s use of high tariffs and his budget authority to slow solar deployment is “a great example of us shooting ourselves in the foot.” (Rolling Stone)

RENEWABLES: New research indicates almost two-thirds of solar projects in California are proposed as hybrids, and the state also has the largest number of proposed wind hybrid initiatives. (Greentech Media)

EMISSIONS: A professor of earth system science at Stanford University in California says carbon emissions could decrease by more than 5% this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Reuters)

PUBLIC LANDS: The BLM is reportedly considering “expressions of interest” from the oil and gas industry to lease more than 100,000 acres of land near two Utah national parks for development. (Salt Lake Tribune)

FRACKING:
California regulators have issued 24 fracking permits, the first in nine months, after getting clearance from federal scientists. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
A proposal to build a facility in New Mexico to treat oil and gas wastewater for reuse in agriculture is set to go forward. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

COAL: Documents show that NorthWestern Energy has agreed to let Unit 3 of the Colstrip power plant in Montana be shut down in exchange for a larger stake of Unit 4. (Billings Gazette)

NUCLEAR: The operators of Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station have had to adapt their refuelling plans because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Wired)

OIL & GAS:
The financial crisis becomes increasingly dire for states that are heavily dependent on oil industry revenue. (Associated Press)
Wyoming’s plan to purchase land from Occidental Petroleum Corporation that could give the state access to Colorado’s oil and gas reserves is still being considered despite the coronavirus crisis. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

TRANSPORTATION: California is considering a mileage fee to make up for lost gasoline tax revenue from electric cars. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla electric vehicle sales increased 40% during the first three months of this year, according to preliminary data. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: Tesla is allegedly letting go of contractors from its Nevada Gigafactory where it manufactures energy storage procuts. (CNBC)

COMMENTARY:
Pueblo, Colorado’s mayor makes a case for municipalization of the city’s electric service. (Ag Journal)
NorthWestern Energy’s general counsel attempts to correct a candidate for the state’s regulatory body about the utility’s actions, saying it does not operate outside state law. (Helena Independent Record)

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