Western Energy News

Aware of past missteps, California lawmakers weigh grid expansion

GRID: With the energy crisis of the ’80s firmly in the rearview mirror, California tries to transform its grid. (New York Times)

ALSO: As a heat wave bakes much of the region, electricity prices in the West soar to their highest levels in four years amid dwindling natural gas supplies. (Reuters)

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RENEWABLES: With two clean energy measures on the November ballot, a new poll finds that 86 percent of Arizona voters favor investments in renewable energy. (Arizona Sun Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Operating electric buses on the West Coast is cleaner than the rest of the country because the grid uses more power from renewable sources, according to a new study. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• With one solar project up and running, the Navajo Nation pushes ahead with two more projects to help boost economic development for the Arizona tribe. (Arizona Daily Sun)
• The first utility-scale solar array in a central Oregon county goes online. (Bend Bulletin)

POLITICS:
• A Democratic congresswoman announces her opposition to a Nevada energy choice ballot measure, saying it would undermine state net metering policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Polling shows Colorado’s anti-fracking Democratic candidate for governor and oil and gas restrictions could fare well in November. (Bloomberg)

TRANSMISSION: Environmentalists worry that a $2 billion transmission line project will harm migratory birds at a proposed river crossing in New Mexico. (Albuquerque Journal)

COAL:
• A clean energy group has asked New Mexico regulators to investigate a utility’s contingency plans should a Colorado coal company file for bankruptcy and trigger the closing of a local mine. (Farmington Daily Times)
• New Mexico lawmakers are still looking for ways to blunt any economic harm the closing of local coal plant might have on the local economy. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers from the University of Hawaii discover a new way to harvest energy from water. (Hawaii News Now)

OIL AND GAS: The Bureau of Land Management plans to lease more than 4,000 acres of national forest land in Colorado in September. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

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UTILITIES: Washington state regulators delay a decision on a $4 billion merger between a Spokane and Canadian utility following internal turmoil within the Toronto-based company. (The Spokesman-Review)

COMMENTARY:
• California should continue its leading efforts to slow climate change by pledging to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
• The Trump administration should avoid taking any unnecessary shortcuts when it comes to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling as such a move would face swift legal challenges, says an Alaskan editorial board. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
• A bill under consideration in California would hold utilities accountable for last year’s deadly wildfires while keeping them safe from bankruptcy, says a state lawmaker. (Mercury News)
• A California case study shows how states can bring more affordable clean energy online by connecting wholesale distributed generation projects to the grid, says the executive director of a clean energy group. (Greentech Media)

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