Western Energy News

As coal plants close, should Wyoming regulators consider workers?

COAL: Wyoming lawmakers propose requiring state regulators to “address the socio-economic factors” of coal plant shutdowns, but critics warn that could conflict with a responsibility to ratepayers. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ALSO:
New Mexico utility PNM Resources is prepared to go back to court over its plans to close the San Juan Generating Station if state regulators don’t follow a new energy law that includes low-interest financing that could help it recoup its investment. (E&E News, subscription)
The company proposing carbon capture technology for the San Juan plant claims it can keep the facility open through 2035. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

CALIFORNIA:
More than two dozen California mayors and county leaders are backing San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s proposal to turn bankrupt utility PG&E into a customer-owned power company in a letter to state regulators. (New York Times)
PG&E agreed to extend the deadline to file claims against the utility for California wildfire damages by two months. (E&E News, subscription)
California programs that buy energy for Bay Area communities plan to install solar-powered backup batteries in around 6,000 homes, focusing on low-income residents and those with critical medical equipment. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Businesses in California’s Half Moon Bay coast region say their losses in the wake of PG&E’s planned power outages likely run in the millions of dollars. (Half Moon Bay Review)

OIL & GAS:
A petroleum CEO calls on Permian Basin shale producers to limit natural gas flaring and monitor for methane leaks. (Reuters)
Larimer County, Colorado drafts its first-ever regulations addressing more than a dozen aspects of oil and gas development, including spill cleanup and air quality. (Fort Collins Coloradoan)
Honolulu officials want to join other municipalities across the U.S. in a lawsuit demanding big oil companies pay fair compensation for their contributions to climate change. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscriber)

PUBLIC LANDS: The Trump administration announces nearly 4 million acres of National Petroleum Reserve land on Alaska’s North Slope is to be auctioned off December 11 for oil and gas development. (Reuters)

BIOFUELS: An Oregon company that collects used cooking oil and turns it into biodiesel says output has grown every year and is now up to 12 million gallons annually. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)

GRID: Officials in a northeast Oregon county say they don’t believe power lines along remote rural roads and across the landscape present a major wildfire threat. (Wallowa County Chieftain)

COMMENTARY:
A California editor says PG&E playing advocate for public safety in the aftermath of last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, is a façade to avoid liability and accountability. (The Orion)
Analyzing California’s ongoing wildfire, utility, and climate crises, an Oregon professor says the state is living the nation’s “dystopian future”. (The Conversation)
An Arizona columnist questions choosing new solar over existing nuclear power and criticizes plans to use Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to make hydrogen. (Arizona Central)

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