Western Energy News

Biden to launch next phase in banning new drilling on public land

PUBLIC LANDS: President Biden is expected to direct agencies this week to begin work on a formal ban of new oil and gas leasing on public land. (New York Times)

ALSO:
An Interior Department official says Native American tribes are exempt from the Biden administration’s temporary pause on oil and gas permitting. (Reuters)
New Mexico U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell criticizes the plans, which she says could cripple the state’s energy industry, while other lawmakers say concerns about climate change should be paramount. (Native News Online, KRQE)
Utah Sen. Mike Lee introduces legislation that would exempt the state from a federal law that allows the president to establish national monuments. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND:
President Biden reverses a Trump administration order that would have accelerated reviews of potential offshore wind leases in California. (E&E News, subscription)
• Wyoming land commissioners approve a wind farm lease near Laramie, despite neighbors’ concerns about its 675-foot turbines. (WyoFile) 

COAL:
• The Bureau of Land Management has expanded a Utah coal mine’s federal lease one of the few mines in the U.S. increasing production amid a larger downturn. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• A Wyoming landowners group is calling on state regulators to deny a coal mining company’s permit renewal until the firm settles $50 million in unpaid royalties and addresses other concerns. (WyoFile)
• A new Sierra Club report grading electric utility plans to retire coal plants and transition to renewables finds that PacifiCorp will still be burning more coal in 2030 than any operating company in the U.S. (Portland Business Journal)

NATURAL GAS: The first phase of a $2 billion project that will add natural gas liquefaction capabilities to a Mexican export facility gets underway; the port could provide an outlet for gas from Western states. (Hydrocarbons Technology) 

SOLAR:
• Oregon State University research indicates working farms with solar facilities could supply 20% of future U.S. electricity demand. (Portland Tribune)
• A technological group focused on electric power conversion is supplying 53 of its fully integrated medium voltage inverter stations to a 160 MW Northern California solar plant. (PV Magazine)
• A new Oregon State University study finds that solar panels help increase agricultural production on dry, unirrigated farmland. (Idaho Ag Today / Ag Information of the West)

UTILITIES: Federal prosecutors sentence a former PG&E employee to 22 months in prison for fraud of more than $1.4 million dollars in kickbacks from an eight-year scheme with a family member. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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