Western Energy News

Amid legal threats, controversial Utah lease auction moves forward

OIL AND GAS: Facing threats of legal action from conservation groups, BLM is set today to auction off 51,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas development near the former Bear Ears national monument in Utah. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Members of the Native American tribes who joined together to create the Bear Ears national monument unite once again to fight efforts to open the land to energy development. (Huffington Post)
A little-known shale play in Oklahoma is drawing big investment from oil and gas companies looking to diversify beyond the booming Permian Basin in Texas. (Reuters)
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that a group seeking to change state law to hike production taxes on the oil and gas industry to pay for teacher raises can proceed with a state ballot initiative. (The Oklahoman)
The head of a national oil and gas industry group said companies need “clarity and flexibility” from the Commerce Department on proposed steel and aluminum tariffs. (Houston Chronicle)

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UTILITIES: A San Antonio utility will begin using a car with sophisticated on board equipment to detect natural gas leaks. (Rivard Report)

EFFICIENCY: A new Colorado program makes it easier for commercial building owners and real estate developers to obtain financing for energy efficiency improvements. (Colorado Real Estate Journal)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Nevada utility uses gas captured from a landfill to help it achieve its renewable energy goals. (KLAS-TV)

NUCLEAR: Nevada’s senators are a unified front when it comes to opposing plans to build a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Two Colorado mountain towns will hold electric bus demonstrations this week as both consider transitioning their city fleets. (Associated Press)
• 
How charging corridors will make electric vehicle ownership more viable in the West. (High Country News)

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SOLAR: An Tulsa retirement community embraces renewable energy, becoming the first senior citizens neighborhood in the country to put solar panels on a covered parking lot. (Tulsa World)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s unfortunate, but not absurd, that coal would be part of San Antonio’s long-term energy mix, says the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News.
• The founder of a community service program in Utah says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke should be protecting, not exploiting, the nation’s public lands. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• A former advisor to Energy Secretary Sam Bodman says it’s short-sighted to risk jobs for members of the Hopi and Navajo tribes by closing a coal-fired power plant in Arizona. (Daily Caller)
The state director of AARP Texas says it’s time to demand utilities their lower rates in the wake of federal tax cuts. (Trib Talk)

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