Western Energy News

Before the pandemic, California’s air quality was worst in U.S.

POLLUTION: An annual report from the American Lung Association finds several California cities had the worst air quality in the U.S. from 2016-2018, making residents more vulnerable to coronavirus. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: Denver and Salt Lake City also fared poorly in the report, while officials in Las Vegas insist their air quality had actually been improving. (Westword, Utah Public Radio, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Experts are divided over whether Monday’s oil price collapse will have a long-term impact on the adoption of clean energy. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS:
Opponents of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon want FERC to reconsider its conditional approval of the project. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says everyone in the state should be concerned about the economic impact of the oil market crash, which could be devastating in the long-term. (Casper Star-Tribune)
New Mexico environmentalists say an emergency policy that would allow oil and gas operators on state trust land to deactivate wells with no penalty amounts to a “bailout” for the industry. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

PUBLIC LANDS: Two environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit aiming to stop a proposed underground natural gas pipeline from Idaho to Wyoming, citing threats to wildlife. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
An administrative judge is advising California regulators to approve PG&E’s bankruptcy exit plan, but regulators have requested changes in the utility’s reorganization plan and proposed almost $2 billion in penalties. (Associated Press, Reuters)
80,000 of PG&E’s wildfire victims begin voting on the utility’s plan to pay them for their losses and resolve its bankruptcy case. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TECHNOLOGY: Several Western utilities are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to address changes in energy usage as a result of shelter-in-place directives. (Venture Beat)

SOLAR:
• A change in net metering policies in Utah has led to a sharp decline in solar installations. (Utility Dive)
• Nevada is cited as a prime example of the damage that could result from a dark money group’s push to undermine net-metering programs. (Greentech Media)
• SunPower announces it’s pausing global manufacturing along with further reducing executive salaries and the work week for all other employees because of the coronavirus crisis. (Greentech Media)
• A California developer of utility-scale solar power projects wants a court to revive its bid to dissolve a Nevada power project it founded. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
A nuclear think tank official and Colorado public policy expert say the electric sector has to continue prioritizing system reliability and resilience during the coronavirus pandemic despite unknown future impacts. (Utility Dive)
A Colorado board member of the American Lung Association says the coronavirus pandemic should reignite the state’s determination to clean up its air pollution, which is a persistent threat to lung health. (Colorado Politics)

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