• Calling Nevada the “Saudi Arabia of solar energy,” billionaire Tom Steyer lends his support to a state ballot measure pushing for tougher renewable energy standards. (Nevada Independent)
• Clean energy advocates in Arizona file paperwork to launch a ballot initiative to require the state to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. (Arizona Republic)
SOLAR: County officials approve a plan to build Colorado’s second largest solar farm just west of Denver. (Denver Post)
WIND: As Oklahoma tries to manage a budget crisis, state lawmakers turn on the wind industry, yanking tax incentives some say are a bad deal for the state. (Associated Press)
OIL AND GAS:
• In an Oklahoma shale patch where environmentalists say companies are “fracking like crazy,” a new kind of earthquake has emerged — one that doesn’t seem to be caused by wastewater disposal. (Bloomberg)
• Regulators in Colorado move closer to considering new rules for oil and gas well flow lines in the wake of a deadly home explosion last year. (Westword)
• Despite hundreds of new wells being drilled statewide and increased calls for tougher oversight, the agency that regulates oil and gas in Colorado is facing a $5.6 million budget deficit. (The Denver Channel)
• A Houston-based energy company has signed a deal to sell liquefied natural gas to China from its export terminal under construction in Texas. (Reuters)
POLITICS: Sen. Ted Cruz is holding up the confirmation of a key agriculture nominee in an effort to shield oil and gas refiners in Texas from rising fees associated with renewable fuel standards. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
• Rather than propping up dying, dirty industries, U.S. policy makers should embark on an aggressive program to boost the nation’s charging infrastructure to help electric and autonomous vehicles, says a research fellow at the University of Texas. (San Antonio Express-News)
• The editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal says a local school district was right to hit the brakes on a plan to drop its current power provider and switch to renewable energy.
• A plan by a Swiss asset manager and U.S. data company to build a one-gigawatt portfolio of solar farms in Nevada is a good example of innovation in technology, business and marketing, says a Bloomberg writer.