Western Energy News

California hits climate milestone four years earlier than anticipated

CLIMATE: California meets its goal of reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels four years ahead of schedule. (Sacramento Bee)

ALSO: A Nobel winning economist writes a court brief that supports claims of children who sued the U.S.  government over its failure to adequately regulate greenhouse gas emissions. (InsideClimate News)

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UTILITIES:
• A Spokane, Washington utility’s future is in question after a political shakeup at the Canadian power company that planned to buy it. (The Spokesman-Review)
• California fire victims urge state lawmakers to stop trying to overhaul liability laws to let utilities off the hook for deadly disasters. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• The world’s largest investment fund drops its stake in a Colorado utility for using coal to generate more than 30 percent of its electricity. (Denver Post)
• Montana regulators’ final order approving the sale of a Washington utility includes provisions preventing a coal plant from being retired early. (RTO Insider)
• Environmentalists worry that a federal permit review of a New Mexico coal mine could extend production to 2033 and delay cleanup for years. (Albuquerque Journal)

GRID: California’s third largest public power agency hires the state’s former lieutenant governor to lobby against a plan to regionalize the grid. (The Desert Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A policy advisor to Washington’s governor says the state wants to be as prolific as low-carbon Norway when it comes to deploying electric vehicles. (UPI)
• An electric vehicle charging station in California now uses second-life batteries to reduce reliance on the grid at peak times. (Utility Dive)

OIL AND GAS:
• Alaska officials remain optimistic that China will help them build a massive liquefied natural gas pipeline to help get North Slope supplies to Asian markets despite growing trade tensions. (Reuters)
• Former U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents say the Trump administration’s reversal of a policy regulating open oil pits is having a devastating consequence on birds in the West. (Reveal)
• An oil company plans to resume production offshore drilling near Santa Barbara three years after a pipeline rupture spilled thousands of gallons of crude onto a local beach. (Offshore Technology)

STORAGE: Two recently announced projects are about to make a central California community the energy storage capital of the world. (Monterey County Now)

SOLAR: A Seattle company is selling solar-powered tents, capable of producing enough energy to run computers, cell phones and even a refrigerator. (King 5)

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NUCLEAR: An Illinois Congressman hopes to show fellow lawmakers that Nevada’s Yucca Mountain is perfect for storing spent nuclear fuel rods. (Nevada Independent)

COMMENTARY:
• With a tax on carbon, Hawaii could pay down debt, reduce unfunded pension liabilities and pay climate adaptation efforts, says a retired economics journalist. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
• There’s a crisis of integrity at the scandal-plagued Arizona agency that regulates utilities, says a Republican attorney running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission. (Scottsdale Independent)
• California needs a grid that can withstand the heat waves that climate change will continue to produce, says an editorial board. (Los Angeles Times)

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