Western Energy News

An Oregon utility gains final approve to advance major wind projects in Wyoming

WIND: An Oregon utility gains final approval from regulators in Idaho and Utah regulators to move forward with its $3 billion wind expansion project, which will include three major projects in Wyoming. (KIFI/KIDK)

GRID:
• Experts say that a unification of the Western grid is likely inevitable, and while the focus is on California at the moment, there are multiple paths to achieve this. (Energy News Network)
• California’s grid operator issues an alert asking residents to conserve energy as a heat wave descends upon the state. (Reuters)

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TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration is working on a plan that would curtail California’s ability to set standards for automotive emissions, which continue to grow despite the state’s progress on electricity. (Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times)

NUCLEAR: A House-Senate conference committee declines to take up a funding request to restart the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, effectively putting the nuclear waste storage project on hold until after the midterm elections. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• The Bureau of Land Management defers action on a controversial oil and gas lease sale near Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. (Albuquerque Journal)
• The Trump administration is considering a plan to allow a Colorado company to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (The Guardian)

POLITICS:
• Attorneys for a utility-backed group challenging the validity of an Arizona clean energy ballot measure now say that 70 percent of the petition’s signatures are invalid. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• Colorado Democrats vote to officially endorse a ballot measure requiring farther drilling setbacks. (Colorado Politics)

SOLAR:
• An Anchorage neighborhood embraces solar energy through a program that allows residents to buy panels in bulk to drive down costs. (Alaska Public Media)
• The recent announcement of a 25-year power purchase agreement between a French company and Southern California utilities is another sign that utility-scale solar plus storage is the way of the future. (PV Magazine)

PUBLIC LANDS: In its bid to shrink national monuments to spur drilling and mining, the Trump administration ignored evidence that public lands boost tourism and have cultural value. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: Since 2014, five Arizona regulators have received $45,000 worth of free gifts from a utility-funded group connected to Harvard University, according to clean energy watchdog organization. (Energy and Policy Institute)

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RENEWABLES: Microgrids offer one way Hawaii might reach its goal of getting all of its power from renewable sources by 2045. (Hawaii Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• Wilderness areas, critical wildlife habitats and cultural resource areas are not appropriate places to put transmission lines, says an environmental group’s policy director. (Greentech Media)
• Northwestern New Mexico has a bright future even as the coal industry declines, says members of a local environmental group. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• By rushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Trump administration is undermining one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws, says former U.S. Fish and Wildlife director for the Alaska region. (The Hill)

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