Western Energy News

California governor: PG&E ‘cannot be trusted’

UTILITIES: California’s largest utility repeatedly overlooked safety problems that led to some of the most destructive fires in state history, as Gov. Gavin Newsom says the company “cannot be trusted.” (New York Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Three oil and gas companies are proposing to drill hundreds of new wells in a historic California oilfield. (Sacramento Bee)
• Legislation proposing a 10-year ban on hydraulic fracturing clears the Oregon House. (Associated Press)
• A bill proposing a monumental overhaul of oil and gas regulations in Colorado gets its first hearing in the House. (Denver Post)

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SOLAR: California regulators are reviving efforts to create more community solar opportunities. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Oregon State University receives a $2.5 million federal grant to study ways to reduce bird and bat collisions with offshore wind turbines. (KTVZ)

COAL:
• A federal agency approves plans for a western Colorado coal mine expansion. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Montana regulators throw their support behind a controversial bill that would allow a South Dakota utility to buy a majority share of a troubled coal-fired power plant and pass future costs onto its customers. (MTN News)
• A recent report by a national environmental group on coal ash pollution at plants around the country is renewing focus on seven sites in Colorado. (Colorado Sun)
• A new report warns of continued hard times for coal mining in Wyoming. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of Labor tours a Wyoming coal mine and touts the economic benefits of fossil fuels. (Gillette News Record)

CLIMATE: California’s governor says a federal program that provides tax breaks to spur investment in low-income areas might be used to help the state meet its climate goals. (San Francisco Chronicle)

PIPELINES: A federal appeals court has rejected a request by the developer of the Keystone XL pipeline to stay the order issued by a federal judge in Montana halting work on the controversial project. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s going to take bolder, broader community solar programs to provide widespread access to clean energy to everyone in Los Angeles, no matter where they live, says the director of a local clean energy advocacy group. (Long Beach Post)
• New Mexico lawmakers shouldn’t be quick to turn up their noses at the boons that energy taxes, royalties and oil and gas leases have to offer, says the editorial board of the Albuquerque Journal.
• Early planning and preparation can help California manage the emerging problem of stranded gas assets, says the local energy program director for a national environmental group. (Forbes)
• The “steel for fuel” approach recently employed by Xcel Energy in Colorado is a good example of how securitization can balance community, utility and ratepayers’ interests when retiring coal-fired power plants, says two officials with an international clean advocacy group. (Utility Dive)

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