Western Energy News

Audit finds problems within Utah air quality division

POLLUTION: An audit flags “operational and environmental issues” with Utah’s air quality division, including the lack of a centralized database or pollution controls at the most polluting oil and gas wells. (Deseret News)

HYDROPOWER:
• The federal government taps an Arizona dam for extra power generating capacity for California, the first time in almost 20 years. (Arizona Republic)
• A California congressman during a virtual forum presses PacifiCorp to get moving on the removal of its Klamath hydroelectric dam. (Herald and News)

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STORAGE:
The U.S. energy storage industry continues to grow despite a high-profile battery fire last year that could have slowed the market. (Greentech Media)
• Solar and storage groups say solar is erroneously being blamed for California’s power outages, and that solar-charged batteries could help solve problem. (Energy Storage News)

CALIFORNIA:
• California’s grid operator rejects President Trump’s false claim that Democrats “intentionally implemented” the state’s rolling blackouts. (PolitiFact)
An investigation finds PG&E repeatedly pushed back against reforms meant to reduce the number of fires sparked by its electrical equipment. (Frontline)
San Jose, California’s mayor is critical of a three-day power outage that seems to be due to “problems at PG&E’s substation.” (Bay Area News Group)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico state trust lands are expected to generate $1 billion in revenue from oil and gas drilling and other activities for the recent fiscal year. (Associated Press)
The proposed $10 billion Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project in Oregon is in limbo due to a FERC dispute over an endangered species. (E&E News, subscription)
A New Mexico clean energy advocate says the state’s failure to penalize operators who spill produced water, crude oil, and other contaminants is a “dereliction of duty.” (New Mexico Political Report)
• California is among 14 states and Washington, D.C. as well as a coalition of six environmental advocacy groups challenging the Trump administration over a new rule allowing the transport of liquefied natural gas by rail. (The Hill, Associated Press)
Coloradoans continue to be divided over Gov. Jared Polis’ deal to keep oil and gas measures off of November’s ballot. (Denver Channel)

MICROGRIDS: Google and other stakeholders say California regulators’ effort to speed microgrid development “falls significantly short.” (Microgrid Knowledge)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Environmental lawyers say the BLM was lax in conducting reviews needed to proceed with opening up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and ignored key requirements established by Congress. (The Hill)
A federal court rules the BLM did not violate federal law when approving New Mexico oil and gas lease sales. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
Conservation groups continue to push for the removal of acting BLM head William Perry Pendley. (The Hill)

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UTILITIES: Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder release slightly revised franchise, settlement, and partnership agreements addressing concerns raised by the community. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
An energy analysis explores whether or not California’s rotating power outages are indicative of a broken grid. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Two New Mexico climate advocates find hope in a congressional plan of action for a clean energy economy (Las Cruces Sun News)

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