Western Energy News

California confronts diversity barrier on electric cars

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Data shows the majority of electric vehicle buyers in California are white or Asian men, and advocates say overcoming the “Silicon Valley dudes” perception will be key to more widespread adoption. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
• Fremont, California’s police department says its Tesla Model S patrol car has been more reliable and cheaper to operate than gasoline vehicles, and the department has since added another Tesla to its fleet. (KPIX)
• “It worked better than I expected”: Alaska’s first electric school bus is performing well, even in temperatures reaching -35°F. (KTOO)
• City officials in the coastal town of Newport, Oregon approve four measures to advance electric vehicle charging. (Newport News Times)

POLICY: Senators from coal-producing states including Wyoming are expected to hold three out of four leadership posts in the chamber’s energy and environment committees. (E&E News)

NATURAL GAS: California regulators reject calls to lower the capacity of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field, which in 2015 was the site of the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. (Los Angeles Daily News)

OIL & GAS:
• President-elect Biden’s pledge to halt new drilling on public lands will face numerous obstacles, including resistance from some Democratic governors. (Washington Post)
• A Colorado agency apologizes after accidentally sending an email to hundreds of oil and gas workers that contained derogatory jokes about the industry. (CBS4)
• City officials in Los Angeles consider tougher setbacks for drilling operations in urban areas. (Los Angeles Times)
• New Mexico’s State Land Commissioner pledges tougher enforcement for oil and gas violations on public land. (Carlsbad Current Argus)
• ConocoPhillips is planning to restart some drilling operations on the North Slope next year. (Alaska Public Media)

UTILITIES: Fire officials in Nevada are investigating whether power lines are to blame for a wildfire near Reno this week. (Reno Gazette Journal)

CLIMATE: A state report finds Hawaii is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels despite advances in renewable energy. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators reach an agreement with operators of an Arizona nuclear plant over violations for mishandling spent fuel. (Associated Press)

POLICY: City officials in Ogden, Utah say local governments have been left out of decision-making on state clean energy policy. (Standard-Examiner)

COMMENTARY:
• California’s lieutenant governor says “now is the time for the rest of the nation to join us in committing to climate action.” (CalMatter)
• A Utah advocate says a bill to block municipal natural gas bans “is part of a national strategy by the fossil fuel industry to strip communities of their rights and authority.” (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Advocates say California is lagging other states in adopting heat pumps, which provide a viable alternative to natural gas in new buildings. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• A Wyoming author says the state should require oil field wastewater to be treated rather than allowing it to be pumped underground. (WyoFile)

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