Western Energy News

As Colorado coal plants close, who gets all the water?

COAL: The closure of coal plants in Colorado is freeing up valuable water rights and setting up potential conflicts over what it is used for. (Colorado Sun)

ALSO:
• Montana approves the 977-acre expansion of Spring Creek Mine, the state’s largest mine owned by Navajo Transitional Energy Company. (Billings Gazette)
• New Mexico regulators are expected to decide today whether to allow Public Service Company of New Mexico to abandon the San Juan Generating Station. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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PIPELINES: The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline says construction will begin in Montana this month. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
California regulators are considering dropping plans to fine PG&E an additional $462 million for neglected maintenance blamed for causing deadly wildfires. (Associated Press)
A California bill that would initiate a government takeover of PG&E and turn it into a public entity is unlikely to move forward this year. (San Francisco Chronicle)
PG&E may need to rely on existing contracts with renewable energy suppliers to receive approval for a bankruptcy exit plan. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION:
Colorado officials are critical of the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era auto fuel efficiency standards, and the state plans to join a multi-state lawsuit over it. (Denver Channel, Colorado Independent)
Volvo confirms it is negotiating with California to reach a voluntary emissions agreement. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
Wyoming regulators announce a tax break for the state’s oil and gas producers for the next six months due to depressed market conditions from the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil prices. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A new report reveals oil and gas interests spent $11.5 million on New Mexico politics between 2017 and 2020. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
Colorado’s top two oil and gas producers announce reduced employee hours and pay as well as unpaid furloughs because of decreased demand due to the coronavirus crisis. (Denver Post)
BP is taking steps to prevent further coronavirus infections at its Prudhoe Bay, Alaska oil field after a worker tested positive. (Anchorage Daily News) 

PUBLIC LANDS: Advocates are calling on the BLM to suspend oil and gas leasing on public land during the coronavirus crisis and extend the comment period on oil and gas development near the Chaco Canyon site. (Carlsbad Current-Argus, Farmington Daily Times)

WIND: An exploration of wind energy in Wyoming indicates the change from fossil fuels to renewables in the state will take time because it is cultural as well as economic. (Wired)

UTILITIES: California community-choice energy program Peninsula Clean Energy will grant $100 in credit to 30,000 enrollees struggling and potentially out of work due to the coronavirus outbreak. (San Mateo Daily Journal)

COMMENTARY:
A Colorado editorial board says President Trump is taking advantage of the public’s confusion and fear over the coronavirus pandemic to attack the environment. (Colorado Springs Independent)
A California Energy Storage Alliance official ponders the next decade in market development for the state’s energy storage industry. (Energy Storage News)

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