Western Energy News

BLM’s inability to track ‘orphan wells’ criticized

PUBLIC LANDS: Despite federal investigations, the Bureau of Land Management still does not have a way to track thousands of “orphan wells” on federal lands across the West that need plugging. (E&E News, subscription)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E will decide later today whether to move ahead with precautionary power shut-offs lasting two days to roughly a half-million customers in Northern California due to a wildfire risk. (Associated Press)
Investments in new grid technology to limit the scope and duration of fire-prevention outages were among the few successes PG&E reported to state regulators last week during a five-hour grilling. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
Critics say Southern California Gas Company’s opposition to policies aimed at replacing gas with electricity undermines state efforts to fight climate change. (Los Angeles Time)
Southern California Gas Company is among more than a dozen utilities producing renewable natural gas using manure, trash, and wastewater. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS: Portland officials reject a plan that would have expanded capacity at a fossil fuel export terminal that has become a target for activists. (Willamette Week)

TRANSPORTATION: A survey finds despite concerns about climate change, only a small percentage of Portland voters want the government to stop spending money on expanding roads. (Willamette Week) 

SOLAR:
The mayors of Tuscon, Arizona, and Bozeman, Montana, are among 231 across the country supporting a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit. (Utility Dive)
Sunrun, the nation’s largest residential solar company, celebrates the expansion of its second headquarters in Denver. (Denver Post)

OFFSHORE WIND: A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory explores the prospects for offshore wind in Oregon. (Greentech Media)

OVERSIGHT: The chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission says a new integrated resource plan process will “provide more independence and greater stakeholder input.” (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: The New Mexico regulatory body in charge of oil and gas pipeline safety is awarded a perfect score during an annual federal safety evaluation. (Carlsbad Current-Argus, subscription)

WIND: Officials in a rural New Mexico county consider approval for a fourth wind farm and credit the industry for providing key revenue for public services. (KRQE) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A California agency awards $14 million to the City of San Jose for new electric vehicle charging stations. (KPIX)
Los Angeles electric vehicle charging startup EV Connect raised $12 million to fund its software expansion. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR: The Nevada official leading the state’s fight against a federal radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain says outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry won’t be missed. (Nevada Appeal, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
David Roberts says grid hardening, land-use reform, and restructuring PG&E are solutions to California’s wildfire safety blackout problems. (Vox)
A National Hydropower Association official says deep decarbonization of the nation’s electricity system cannot happen without hydropower. (The Hill)

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