Western Energy News

Arizona bill would give utilities an out if clean energy measure passes

POLITICS: An Arizona Senate panel approves a bill that would allow utilities to avoid getting half their electricity from renewable sources by 2030 even if voters approve such a mandate. (Arizona Capitol Times)

ALSO: Most of the Republicans running for governor in Colorado don’t believe the state can achieve the goal of getting all of its power from renewable energy sources by 2040, a new questionnaire reveals. (Colorado Independent)

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COAL: A last-ditch effort to save a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation stalls as Arizona lawmakers fail to pass a proposal to give $12 million in annual tax breaks for coal sales. (Arizona Republic)

SOLAR:
• Solar installations decreased by 3 percent in Texas in 2017, a much smaller drop than the national trend, according to a new industry estimate. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Meanwhile, Arizona saw a 14 percent increase in solar installations in 2017. (Phoenix Business Journal)

STORAGE: Tesla and NextEra Energy are among the companies hoping to build the world’s largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado for Xcel Energy. (Electrek)

OIL AND GAS:
The Oklahoma Supreme Court rules that injured oil-field workers can sue operators, striking down a portion of workers’ compensation law that exempted the energy industry from such lawsuits. (The Oklahoman)
An energy company plans to drill 48 new oil and gas wells near a popular recreational area in Longmont. (Longmont Times-Call)
• More than 3,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled in the Trinity River in southeast Texas by an Oklahoma energy company. (Houston Chronicle)

UTILITIES: Facing growing criticism from advocates for low-income families, Pueblo’s electric provider relaxes its reconnect policy, now requiring a deposit for one month instead of three. (Pueblo Chieftain)

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EFFICIENCY: The city of Vail is offering free energy audits and double rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. (Vail Daily News)

COMMENTARY:
• Donald Trump’s brand of “irresponsible” protectionism will harm our investments in energy research, development and innovation, says a University of Utah professor. (Deseret News)
• The former chairman of the Texas Public Utilities Commission says federal regulators should look to the Lone Star State for proof of how injecting competition into improving grid reliability can pay dividends. (The Hill)

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