Western Energy News

California governor proposes $21 billion wildfire fund

UTILITIES: California’s governor calls for the creation of a $21 billion fund to be financed by utility investors and ratepayers to help settle wildfire damages. (New York Times)

ALSO: Nevada’s largest utility will pay almost $1 million a year over the next five years to the city of Henderson and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to entice them to remain customers. (The Nevada Independent)

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POLITICS:
• The Oregon capitol closed Saturday due to a “possible militia threat” from right-wing protestors supporting Republican’s decision to flee the state to avoid voting on a landmark climate bill; the threat never materialized. (Associated Press)
• Oregon Democrats reported to the floor on Sunday but did not have a quorum. (CNN)

OIL & GAS:
• General Electric says it plans to close a large natural gas plant in California about 20 years ahead of schedule because it is no longer economically viable because of the decreasing prices of solar and wind energy. (Reuters)
• Some members of the Navajo Nation are calling for a “Red Deal,” a movement that among other things seeks a moratorium on drilling their tribal lands in the West. (New Mexico Political Report)

STORAGE: An explosion and fire at an Arizona utility battery facility highlights the challenges and risks associated with the growing energy storage sector. (Associated Press)

COAL: Utah regulators have devised a new cleanup plan for two former coal mines where waste is still burning almost a year after a wildfire ignited several piles. (Salt Lake Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The city of Eugene, Oregon holds a test drive event for residents interested in buying an electric vehicle. (Register-Guard)

SOLAR: A proposal to build a 270 MW solar farm in rural southeastern Washington is stirring a debate about the future of clean energy in the state. (Lewiston Morning Tribune)

RENEWABLES: As Washington Gov. Jay Inslee takes his push for carbon-free electricity to a national stage, the central part of the state already has several clean energy projects under development. (Yakima Herald)

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PIPELINES: Nevada regulators are encouraging anyone who damages a natural gas pipeline to call 911 or a local utility. (Nevada Appeal)

COMMENTARY:
• No one wants to bail out PG&E, but no one benefits if it and California’s other major utilities can’t deliver electricity to millions across the state, says the editorial board of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
• If you don’t like Arizona’s largest utility, then it’s time to consider competitive electricity markets, says a columnist for the Arizona Republic.
• New Mexico’s top environmental and energy regulators say they need as many members of the public as possible to weigh in on new rules aimed at curbing methane emissions. (Albuquerque Journal)

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