Western Energy News

Automakers divided over California emissions authority

TRANSPORTATION: Major players in the auto industry are siding with the Trump administration in a lawsuit over California’s authority to set tougher auto emissions standards. (Associated Press)

PG&E says two Northern California wildfires last weekend may have been started by its power lines despite planned power outages to prevent downed lines from starting fires, and admits to “major shortcomings” in executing previous shut-offs. (San Francisco Chronicle)
The utility is set to begin shutting off power again today, leaving 1.5 million people in 29 counties in the dark for up to five days. (Associated Press)
A new analysis says PG&E transitioning to a public utility is increasingly possible. (Greentech Media)

COAL: A new report says coal production in the Powder River Basin is expected to drop significantly, and could lead to more mine closures next year. (E&E News, subscription)

A dark-money ad campaign calls a Colorado-commissioned study on health impacts from drilling “junk science”; a state oil group that had praised the study says it isn’t involved. (Colorado Sun, Western Wire)
New Mexico’s Energy Secretary says a project to prevent the Carlsbad Brine Well from collapsing has a funding shortfall of $9 million; completing it will likely require implementation of a 10% contingency plan. (Carlsbad Current Argus)
ExxonMobil says a report claiming they may be seeking a buyer for their Billings, Montana refinery is just a “market rumor.” (Billings Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new rate structure from Xcel Energy for commercial electric vehicles and electric fleets in Colorado aiming to dramatically reduce demand charges is expected to be finalized this week. (Denver Post)

Two new grid-scale solar projects planned for Maui, Hawaii could help the municipality with the state’s goal of meeting 100% of its electrical energy needs through renewables by 2045. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)
Solar panel installations are expected to save $4 million in electrical power costs at three new resource centers for the homeless in a Utah county. (Deseret News)

WIND: Sixteen protestors of Oahu, Hawaii’s Kahuku wind farm were arrested on Sunday, again temporarily blocking trucks carrying wind turbine parts from passing through; “arrestables” say breaking the law is their last option. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

COMMENTARY: An advocate for microgrids touts the technology’s potential to help Californians cope with power shutoffs. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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