Western Energy News

Amid pushback, Oklahoma becomes #2 state in the U.S. for wind energy

WIND:
• Oklahoma passes Iowa to become the number two state in the nation for wind energy capacity as lawmakers there phase out two key tax incentives while a state budget crises looms. (Christian Science Monitor)
• Texas led the nation in installed wind capacity for the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by Oklahoma. (Houston Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: An Arizona regulator proposes a plan that would have the state getting 80 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050 and storing 3,000 megawatts of energy by 2030, a goal that would put the state ahead of California and New York. (Greentech Media)

TECHNOLOGY: Nikola Motor announces it will build a $1 billion hydrogen-electric semi truck factory in Phoenix as the company continues its quest to deliver “the iPhone of trucks.” (Fortune)

COAL: Citing the threat of climate change to the ski industry, two Western resort owners are supporting Xcel Energy’s plan to close two coal-fired power plants in Colorado. (Aspen Times)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• Tribal leaders slam a Utah lawmaker’s plan to give them authority to manage a new national monument created by the Trump administration’s decision to shrink the Bear Ears National Monument to aid energy development in the region. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Meanwhile, federal officials confirm that the former Utah monuments will be open to mining just as soon as Trump’s proclamation goes into effect on Friday. (Reuters)
• Public comments are sparse on a BLM plan that will dictate how public lands in southern Nevada are managed including how renewable energy might be produced there in the future. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• An Oklahoma-based energy company lays off 400 people, citing a desire to cut cost and sink resources into oil and gas production. (The Oklahoman)
• As the Permian Basin booms, more Canadian drilling rigs are moving to Texas. (The Canadian Press)
• Refinery shutdowns during Hurricane Harvey drove record crude oil exports late last year, federal officials confirmed this week. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES: Dealing a blow to environmentalists, a federal judge refuses to order a temporary halt to the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which will connect a crude hub in Texas to refineries in Louisiana. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: In a Q&A, an energy expert at The University of Texas says new tariffs on imported solar panels are “too little too late” to stop the U.S. solar industry. (Scientific American)

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