Western Energy News

California breaks new records for clean energy

RENEWABLE ENERGY: California breaks a record for clean energy exports and also achieves 93 percent zero-carbon electricity generation over the weekend. (PV Magazine)

ALSO: Nevada’s largest utility surpasses the state’s renewable energy standard for its ninth year but warns it might struggle to comply in the future, despite its recent investment in new solar energy. (The Nevada Independent)

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• A federal court strikes down a Trump administration rule that cut royalties paid to taxpayers for coal and petroleum extraction on public lands. (Reuters)
• U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren pledges to restore the boundaries of two national monuments in Utah and ban new drilling on federal lands if she’s elected president. (Deseret News)

• A heavily amended bill seeking to save a troubled Montana coal plant is approved by lawmakers in the House. (Billings Gazette)
• A Wyoming coal producer receives an extension on an interest payment that was due, a move that will help it avoid bankruptcy for now. (Wyoming Public Media)
• Crews have begun drilling a test well in Wyoming that could help determine whether carbon dioxide could be stored underneath the Powder River Basin. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: When paired with better building standards and rooftop solar, heat pumps can withstand harsh winters, according to a report from a Colorado clean energy think tank. (Greentech Media)

• Indigenous leaders told members of a Congressional subcommittee at a hearing in New Mexico that more needs to be done to protect sacred sites throughout the West from the impacts of drilling. (Associated Press)
• The city council in Aurora, Colorado approves an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into operator agreements with oil and gas companies, a move driven by recent legislation giving communities more control over drilling. (Denver Post)
• A California refinery that shut down last month due to equipment malfunctions could be back online by mid-May, state regulators say. (KQED)

NUCLEAR: Nevada’s powerful gaming industry comes out against a plan to open a permanent nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain. (The Nevada Appeal)

TECHNOLOGY: A Washington utility wants to use surplus electricity produced by one of its dams to produce hydrogen. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

SOLAR: The nation’s leading residential solar installer is expanding its office in Denver. (Denver Post)

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UTILITIES: California’s governor stops short of endorsing a move sought by the state’s investor-owned utilities relaxing strict liability standards. (Greentech Media)

• Colorado does not have a regulatory loophole that allows the oil and gas industry to pollute unchecked for 90 days, says the executive director of a state industry group. (Denver Post)
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry “is treating Nevadans like the stuff he used to scrape off his boots in Texas” by pressing ahead with plans to open Yucca Mountain, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun.
• The editorial board of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat urges California Gov. Gavin Newsom to show more leadership in handling the state’s wildfire crisis.

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