Western Energy News

Before climate drama, Oregon passed aggressive electric vehicle bill

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Prior to a walkout by Republicans over climate legislation, Oregon lawmakers pass legislation seeking to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles with the goal of having every nine out of 10 new car sales be electric by 2035. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• Nevada regulators vote to set aside $1.5 million from a state program to pay for electric school buses, a fraction of what advocates requested. (Nevada Current)
• Washington state has the third highest percentage of electric or hybrid vehicles, according to a new report. (KOMO)
• Dozens of mayors from Hawaii cities are committing to buy more electric vehicles for their fleets. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• Meanwhile, a longtime Hawaii tour operator has added two electric buses to its fleet. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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UTILITIES:
• Nevada’s largest utility is offering a local school district millions of dollars to entice it to remain a customer. (Bloomberg)
• Plans by California’s major electric utilities contain few details about whether cutting millions of trees and replacing wooden poles with steel ones will reduce wildfire risks. (CALmatters)

COAL: Retrofitting a New Mexico coal plant with carbon capture technology could cost up to $1.2 billion, according to its potential new owner. (Farmington Daily Times)

RENEWABLES: U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico has introduced legislation calling for a 50%  national renewable energy standard by 2035. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: A U.S. Senator from Nevada suggested she could support legislation calling for the permanent and temporary storage of nuclear waste as long as it was amended to require the state’s consent. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• California regulators are now considering penalties against a local gas provider for a 2015 leak that sickened thousands of nearby residents and forced many to evacuate from their homes. (Associated Press)
• Environmentalists say the rules regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry enacted under former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have done little to reduce the state’s overall greenhouse gas load. (Westword)
• Officials in Boulder County, Colorado are considering an emergency moratorium on new oil and gas permits and seismic testing. (Colorado Public Radio)
• A Papua New Guinea-based company is increasing its stake in a prospective oil field in Alaska’s North Slope. (MarketWatch)

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POLITICS: The mayor of Helena, Montana, who is also running for U.S. Senate, hand delivers a letter to the state’s biggest power provider accusing the utility of not planning for a “post-Colstrip world.” (Montana Standard)

COMMENTARY:
• The aim of PG&E’s bankruptcy must be to ensure wildfire victims get paid and “California’s lights stay on without burning its towns to the ground,” says a columnist for Bloomberg.
• A former California assemblyman says by using the state’s cap-and-trade funds on unrelated projects “we will never meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals or truly address the devastating impacts of climate change.” (CALmatters)

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