Western Energy News

California launches new air pollution study

POLLUTION: California regulators say the decline in fossil fuel use during the coronavirus pandemic presents a unique opportunity to study the impacts of air pollution. (Bloomberg Law)

ALSO: Scientists say it’s too early to tell how much of the reduction in air pollution in the Los Angeles area is attributable to weather. (Los Angeles Times)

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FOSSIL FUELS: Montana youths file a lawsuit to stop the state from promoting the use of fossil fuels. (InsideClimate News)

OIL & GAS:
A judge has temporarily blocked Alaska Native oil and gas companies from accessing $8 billion in coronavirus relief funds meant for tribal governments. (BuzzFeed)
• Environmental advocates suspect pressure from the oil industry may be a factor in the dismissal of a University of Colorado air quality researcher. (WestWord)
• Activists say “a complicated mess of emissions” from oil and gas activity near Bakersfield, California are creating disproportionate health impacts. (E&E News, subscription)

PUBLIC LANDS: Two Colorado conservationists say the federal government’s outdated oil and gas management system has allowed companies to abandon wells across the state. (Colorado Independent)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: The founders of Navajo Power and a Los Angeles City Council candidate say that renewable energy development is key to rebuilding the West’s economy once the coronavirus crisis passes. (PV Magazine)

SOLAR: California’s Energy Commission clarifies that solar and energy storage installers are considered essential electricity industry workers during the state’s shelter-in-place directive. (Solar Power World)

BIOENERGY: The vice president of a natural gas company says California has led the way in renewable natural gas initiatives, particularly its Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. (Waste 360)

NUCLEAR: A lawsuit filed by an advocacy group alleges New Mexico officials ignored state regulations in approving a project at a nuclear waste storage site. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
Attorneys for two rural Colorado utilities warn that Tri-State Generation and Transmission could have federal regulators preempt state jurisdiction over exit charges for members aiming to leave the cooperative. (Utility Dive)
• A California utility executive says the coronavirus pandemic is “adding an extra layer of complexity” to preparing for the upcoming wildfire season. (Bloomberg Green)

EFFICIENCY:
A PG&E program that provides efficiency incentives for customers rebuilding homes lost during 2018’s wildfire season is being extended through 2020. (KRCR)
A report on the first year of Denver’s Green Buildings Ordinance says such projects will consume less energy and contribute less to the city’s urban heat island. (Colorado Politics)

COMMENTARY:
A conservative Arizona conservationist says the state’s leaders and utilities continue to focus on strong energy policy in the future despite the coronavirus pandemic. (Arizona Capitol Times)
A writer says oil production in states like New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado is being killed by the coronavirus crisis and might never bounce back. (Las Vegas Sun)

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