Western Energy News

BLM delays lease sale near Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park

OIL AND GAS: The BLM delays plans to lease 18,000 acres near Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and agrees to meet with tribal leaders concerned about drilling near sacred lands. (Denver Post)

ALSO:
• The Trump administration threatens to undo a 2015 sage-grouse protection plan negotiated in a compromise between the oil and gas industry, conservation groups, and landowners in Wyoming. (Christian Science Monitor)
• A publicity shy Swiss billionaire has been quietly protecting thousands of acres of land in the West from oil and gas drilling. (Inside Philanthropy)
• A Denver suburb adopts a sweeping set of oil and gas regulations, which city officials expect to be challenged in court. (Boulder Daily Camera)

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UTILITIES: A California court clears the state’s largest utility of liability from a 2015 wildfire, possibly establishing a legal precedent that might help it avoid paying damages from other wildfires. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• California is part of a coalition of cities, states and businesses calling for automakers to come up with an “endgame” for cars that run on fossil fuels and to produce more zero emission vehicles. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A Utah lawmakers continues to push a bill that would allow autonomous vehicles, either hybrid or electric, on the state’s roadways. (News4Utah)

SOLAR: The solar industry and farmers clash over land use in Washington state. (New York Times)

CLIMATE:
• California cities ask a Texas court to dismiss an oil company’s attempts to depose officials who brought a climate change lawsuit against the fossil fuel industry. (Forbes)
• During the first three years of California’s cap and trade program, the bulk of greenhouse gas reductions happened out-of-state, according to a new study. (Berkeley News)

COAL: A coal company involved in a number of disputes in Wyoming gets sued again, this time for unpaid royalties in Appalachia. (Casper Star-Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: An Alaskan city reduces its oil consumption by retrofitting a handful of key buildings. (Energy Manager Today)

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NUCLEAR: An Oregon company wins $7.1 million in federal funds to build a small scale nuclear reactor in Idaho. (GeekWire)

COMMENTARY:
• It stands to reason Arizona’s largest utility would be behind a Koch brothers’ effort to fight a measure to prohibit “dark money” from political campaigns, says an Arizona columnist. (Arizona Republic)
• No state is better positioned to take advantage of the hot renewable energy market and reap the economic benefits than Nevada, says the head of an environmental group for conservatives. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

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