Western Energy News

California emissions dropped again in 2017, surpassing targets

EMISSIONS: California’s greenhouse gas emissions continued to drop in 2017, while its economy grew by 3.6%, according to an annual report released by the California Air Resources Board. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
• In Los Angeles, natural gas leaks are a major contributor to methane in the atmosphere, according to a new study by Caltech researchers. (news release)
• A representative of a New Mexico oil and gas coalition speaks out in favor of proposed state regulations on methane emissions. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• As Colorado emerges as a leader in electric transportation, it’s grappling with unique challenges from its geography. (Energy News Network)
• A new study shows electrifying vehicles in Colorado would reduce carbon emissions 42% by 2040 and save consumers almost $600 a year. (Vox)
• Colorado could decide this week whether to follow California in requiring automakers to offer a certain number of electric vehicles. (The Colorado Sun)

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration weakens federal endangered species protections, which could expand oil and gas drilling in western states. (Houston Chronicle)
• California’s attorney general says the state will sue the Trump administration for rolling back the endangered species protections. (KCBS Radio)
• U.S. Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming speaks out in support of an EPA decision to grant 31 small refinery exemptions from federal renewable fuel requirements, saying it will be good for Wyoming workers. (Oil City News)
• Alaska groups urge Gov. Mike Dunleavy not to veto a partial payment of the state’s annual “oil wealth check” to residents. (Anchorage Daily News)
• There are signs that other cities are looking to follow Berkeley’s move to ban the use of natural gas in new buildings. (Triple Pundit)

COAL:
• An investigation reveals that multiple Wyoming coal ash ponds have exceeded federal limits for groundwater contamination, testing positive for more than half a dozen toxic chemicals. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• The Department of Energy is set to review Wyoming’s clean coal research efforts later this month, including a carbon capture project. (news release)

SOLAR:
• A San Diego utility wants to nearly quadruple its minimum electricity rates in response to more customers adopting rooftop solar. (KPBS)
• Ralphs Grocery installs a 7,000-panel solar array at its distribution center in Paramount, California, which will provide 50% of the facility’s energy needs. (news release)

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GRID: Regional ties like those in California Independent System Operator’s western energy imbalance market could propel the shift from gas-powered generation to renewables. (S&P Global)

COMMENTARY:
• A deal struck by carmakers and California regulators shows the power of states and private business to combat climate change, an editorial board writes. (Seattle Times)
• If Keystone XL is built, rural communities across northeast Montana could be stuck with the devastating aftermath of another tar sands oil spill, says a grassroots organization member. (Great Falls Tribune)
• Washington and other states are taking action to combat climate change, says Governor Jay Inslee and two state commissioners. (The Seattle Times)

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