Western Energy News

California blocks new fracking permits

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OIL & GAS: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has stopped the approval of new fracking in the state pending an independent scientific review as the state toughens its drilling oversight. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
Newsom also aims to speed up the timeline for closing the Aliso Canyon natural gas facility. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Colorado’s oil and gas commission declines Weld County’s offer to combine resources on an air quality and emissions study for oil and gas drilling. (Greeley Tribune)
New Mexico politicians are critical of Democrat presidential candidates’ proposed oil and gas bans. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Environmental groups and neighborhood councils are urging Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to not proceed with building a gas plant in Utah. (Los Angeles Times)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham met with energy companies recently amid an overhaul of methane regulations and new requirements for cleaner sources of electricity. (Associated Press)

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CALIFORNIA:
PG&E is struggling to find a way out of bankruptcy, caught between needing to settle with wildfire victims, creditors and increasing calls for a state takeover. (New York Times)
PG&E is reportedly close to a $1.7 billion settlement with California regulators to cover penalties for failing to properly maintain equipment that caused wildfires in 2017. (Bloomberg)
PG&E wildfire victims say the utility’s $11 billion pact with property insurers is getting in the way of a settlement. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
PG&E says it has found numerous suspicious California wildfire claims, including one for a 500-pound emerald worth $280 million supposedly destroyed in a fire last year. (Bloomberg)
Experts say photos of several hooks on a PG&E transmission line that sparked the destructive and deadly Camp Fire last year show significant long-term wear readily evident during any detailed inspection. (NBC Bay Area)

UTILITIES:
Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Tri-State Generation and Transmission’s credit rating from A to A-, citing imminent departure of one Colorado member and the push by two others for a proposed exit fee. (Denver Post)
Oregon’s legislatively mandated community solar program is on shaky ground because of a decision by state regulators effectively shrinking subsidies that would have been borne by utility ratepayers. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)

OVERSIGHT: A legislative audit of Utah’s Division of Oil, Gas and Mining found it “alarming” that regulators are not carrying out state-mandated oversight of nearly 200 drilling operators. (Deseret News)

TRANSPORTATION: California electric vehicle owners will pay more for charging after PG&E raised off-peak costs by 25%, with the period now running from midnight to 3pm. (Forbes)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico legislators say there is “not much benefit” to Holtec building one of the world’s largest nuclear waste storage facilities in the state. (New Mexico Political Report)

SOLAR:
A new analysis explores the Department of Energy’s formal request for information on methods to allow concentrated solar power to commercially deploy as cost-competitive energy storage, citing California projects. (Utility Dive)
• A new 1.2 MW solar facility is the largest in Alaska. (Anchorage Daily News)

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CLEAN ENERGY: The California Energy Commission launched a new $11 million program to help accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. (Green Car Congress)

COMMENTARY:
An M.I.T. professor says California’s San Onofre nuclear plant is a Chernobyl waiting to happen (Los Angeles Times)
A columnist says other states will have to follow California’s lead in building electric vehicle charging points if electrification is going to work. (The Truth About Cars)

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