Western Energy News

Arizona regulator presses utility on ties to pro-coal group

UTILITIES: A Tucson-area utility has drawn the scrutiny of a state regulator over its decision to stay with an industry group under investigation by federal lawmakers. (Arizona Daily Star)

ALSO:
• California regulators approve PG&E’s request for a $373 million rate hike. (KTVU)
• A solution is in the works that might help California manage future costs associated with wildfires. (Utility Dive)

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POLITICS: New Mexico is one of several states where Democrats successfully pushed through clean energy legislation this year. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A Washington activist who stopped what would have been the largest oil terminal in North America is awarded an international environmental prize. (Huffington Post)
• Federal wildlife managers have accused the Trump administration of failing to consider climate change, oil spills and the welfare of polar bears in its expedited study of proposed drilling in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska. (Reuters)
• Police arrested 14 environmental activists who announced plans to protest a Portland crude oil terminal by building a garden on the railroad tracks. (The Oregonian)

BIOFUELS: Environmentalists are asking Oregon regulators to deny an air pollution permit for a project that would turn methane from dairy cow manure into renewable natural gas. (Jefferson Public Radio)

COAL:
• Wyoming’s governor says he is “deeply concerned” that an Oregon utility is considering the early retirement of nine units at coal plants in Colorado and Wyoming within four years. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A Montana city is considering disposing of coal ash from a shuttered plant in a local landfill in exchange for 20 acres of potential park land. (Billings Gazette)

SOLAR:
• A Colorado-based infrastructure fund has acquired a majority stake in one of the top community solar development companies in the country. (Greentech Media)
• A Minnesota-based food products company is installing almost 2,000 solar panels at one of its California facilities. (Solar Power World)
• Idaho researchers are trying to figure out how to use less expensive materials to make solar panels while keeping energy output the same. (Idaho Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A bill that would have allowed the direct sales of electric vehicles dies in Colorado. (Automotive News)

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BIOMASS: A New York-based clean energy company has bought a Colorado biomass plant for an undisclosed sum. (Vail Daily)

COMMENTARY:
• Officials with New Mexico’s largest utility want state regulators to reconsider their decision to bill Facebook for a $39 million transmission line because they gave them “confusing” information. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• Federal land managers have stacked a 15-person advisory committee to manage the Bear Ears National Monument in Utah with people who opposed President Obama’s designation and “virtually ignored the fact Bear Ears was an American Indian idea,” says the editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune.

 

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