Western Energy News

Author of California bill seeks equitable clean energy transition

SOLAR: A California nonprofit is helping tribes across the West launch ambitious community solar projects. (E&E News)

ALSO: The first cooperative-owned solar project in California opens in Oakland. (Clean Technica)

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RENEWABLES:
The author of California’s landmark clean energy legislation wants clean technology startups to focus on low-income communities. (Greentech Media)
Hawaii’s governor announces a new program allowing ratepayers to invest in renewable energy and use the estimated savings to cover the cost of installation. (Big Island Now)
More than 80 percent of Idaho’s utility-scale electricity generation last year came from renewable sources, which puts the state only behind Vermont for clean energy production, according to a new study. (HydroWorld)

COAL:
• Coal’s days in the Navajo Nation appear to be numbered as the tribe looks to develop more clean energy. (E&E News)
• Members of the Montana House heard their first testimony on a bill commiting customers of a South Dakota utility to paying $75 million to help the company buy a bigger stake in a struggling local coal plant. (Billings Gazette)

OIL AND GAS:
• How Colorado cities wield newly bestowed power over local drilling will likely vary widely under new legislation expected to soon be signed into law. (The Colorado Sun)
• A Texas oil and gas company has decided to postpone 3D seismic survey work in federal waters off the Alaska coast until fishing and tourist season is mostly over. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)
• A Colorado city’s decision to ban drilling in the 1980s has helped shape the current debate over how much control communities should have over oil and gas development. (Colorado Public Radio)
• A company’s plan to discharge 287 million gallons of oilfield water into a Wyoming reservoir has several downstream residents worried about water quality impacts. (WyoFile)

PIPELINES:
President Trump is expected to announce today two new executive orders aimed at speeding up the permitting process for oil and gas pipelines. (The Hill)
Meanwhile, an indigenous group has sued the Trump administration in Montana over its efforts to jumpstart the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. (The Hill)

CLIMATE:
Colorado environmentalists say legislation seeking to slash carbon emissions doesn’t go far enough to fight climate change. (Colorado Independent)
Colorado’s ski industry is making strides toward achieving carbon-neutral operations in its effort to fight climate change. (U.S. News and World Report)

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RESEARCH: The return investment in installing rooftop solar panels is more than previously thought but adding home batteries usually lowers those dividends, according to a new study by California researchers. (Stanford University)

COMMENTARY:
A Colorado environmentalist says it’s not fair that rural areas are held to a lower standard than the Denver area, where oil and gas operators must meet more stringent air quality rules. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Montana’s congressional Republicans are among those “blowing the most smoke about Colstrip … instead of facing the reality that coal power has been eclipsed in every way by solar, wind, hydro and cheap natural gas,” says a local columnist. (The Missoulian)

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