Western Energy News

California, Colorado leaders pledge to fight Trump’s fuel economy rollback

TRANSPORTATION: California leaders vow to fight the Trump administration’s plan to freeze fuel economy standards and scrap its own greenhouse emissions reduction plan. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• The move also threatens the state’s plan to increase electric vehicle use, but electric carmakers have no plans to abandon the growing market. (McClatchy, Bloomberg)
• Meanwhile, Colorado’s governor isn’t backing off his pledge to reduce vehicle emissions. (Colorado Springs Independent)

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UTILITIES:
• California regulators release a long-anticipated proposal that shows how utilities would be compensated for customers who leave to join community choice programs. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• A clean energy group has asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to prevent two regulators who received political donations from the state’s largest utility from weighing in on a case that would determine its future energy mix. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

NUCLEAR: A former federal regulator says that a southern California utility should stop burying waste from its shuttered nuclear plant next to the beach. (KPBS)

OIL AND GAS:
• Environmentalists worry a plan to conduct seismic testing to foster oil and gas development in Alaska could create a new grid of vehicle tracks across the state’s wilderness. (New York Times)
• The U.S. Forest Service is planning to open 54,000 acres in northeastern Nevada to drilling, worrying environmentalists about potential impacts on local wildlife. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

SOLAR:
• Hawaii’s high electricity prices are pushing residents to install rooftop solar systems. (Hawaii News Now)
• A New Mexico electric cooperative celebrates the installation of a 4,000 panel solar array. (Sangre de Christo Chronicle)
• A Hawaii brewery plans to use solar energy to reduce its electricity costs. (Solar Industry Magazine)
• A Montana-based splitboard company is now using solar energy for 25 percent of its electricity needs. (Backcountry Magazine)

COAL:
• A federal judge gives the Trump administration until 2019 to complete a review to show how reduced coal mining in Wyoming and Montana could fight climate change. (Associated Press)
• Electricity generated from a Portland utility’s coal plants costs more to generate than it would for the company to buy solar and wind energy, according to a new study commissioned by an environmental group. (Utility Dive)

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POLITICS:
• Members of the group pushing a Colorado initiative to increase drilling setbacks say supporters of the state’s oil and gas industry paid one of their signature gatherers to leave the state. (Denver Post)
• Municipal attorneys in Colorado say an oil and gas industry-backed proposal would prevent cities from making local land-use decisions. (Colorado Politics)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the Sacramento Bee opposes the Trump administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards and backs California Gov. Jerry Brown’s pledge to “fight this stupidity in every conceivable way.”
• The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times says the rollback of fuel efficiency standards is particularly “appalling” as climate change fueled wildfires are currently burning much of the state.

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