Western Energy News

Arizona coal mine set to close as market continues to shrink

COAL: Peabody Energy says it will shut down an Arizona coal mine in October as time runs out for anyone to buy its only customer, one of the largest coal plants in the West. (E&E News, subscription)

• Peabody also plans to reduce the amount of coal it extracts from one its flagship Wyoming mines, saying it wants to focus on “value over volume” as the market continues to decline. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A bill that seeks to keep Wyoming’s coal plants open by forcing their owners to sell them rather than retire the facilities advances in state Senate. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Montana lawmakers are considering two bills to tax carbon pollution, a move the owners of the state’s largest coal-fired power plant say would result in the early closure of the facility. (Billings Gazette)

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TECHNOLOGY: Several California cities are considering mobile energy storage systems to improve resilience during wildfires. (Energy News Network)

• California’s largest utility plans to continue its controversial practice of shutting off power during certain weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire, according to a new report submitted to state regulators. (Reuters)
• Meanwhile, the utility that serves the greater Los Angeles area submitted its wildfire mitigation plan, which calls for power line inspections, tree trimming and occasional power shutdowns. (Los Angeles Times)

• Arizona regulators approve a new incentive program for a Tucson utility’s customers who charge their electric vehicles at home. (Arizona Daily Star)
• A Republican lawmaker files a bill seeking to put a 10 percent tax on electric vehicle charging to help pay for Nevada roads. (The Nevada Independent)

HYDROPOWER: Operators of small hydropower plants in Colorado are hoping the new governor’s clean energy push will revitalize the industry. (The Colorado Sun)

SOLAR: A judge in Hawaii rules that state officials can’t rubber-stamp requests from new home builders to install gas water heaters instead of solar water heaters, which are required by law. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

• A conservation group is suing the U.S. Interior Department over its decision to sell oil and gas leases on land in southeast Utah it says contains a treasure trove of cultural artifacts. (Deseret News)
• Arizona regulators reinstated a temporary ban on the construction or acquisition of new gas-fired power plants. (E&E News, subscription)
• President Trump’s nominee to become the next Interior Secretary touted a record-setting year for oil and gas lease sales on federal lands during an appearance in New Mexico. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is trying to position himself as a “carbon warrior” in the increasingly crowded pack of Democrats vying to become president in 2020. (CNBC)

NUCLEAR: A U.S. Senator from Nevada says she doesn’t trust Energy Secretary Rick Perry after discovering his administration had secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina to the state for storage. (KNPR)

EFFICIENCY: A developer is building a 1,140-acre net-zero housing project in southern Colorado. (Green Biz)

COMMENTARY: Wyoming lawmakers should support legislation seeking to abolish loopholes in state law that allows coal companies to self-bond, say two attorneys who have represented local environmental groups. (Casper Star Tribune)

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