Western Energy News

California lawmakers advance plan to create regional power grid

GRID: A contentious proposal to expand California’s power grid to include several other Western states narrowly makes it past a key legislative hurdle, though lawmakers remain divided over the idea of creating a regional power grid. (Washington Post)

POLICY: Colorado’s governor issues an executive order requiring the state to adopt vehicle emission standards used by California and 12 other states by 2025. (Denver Post)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Sacramento and San Francisco are among seven U.S. cities selected to participate in a pilot program offering cash incentives to Uber drivers with electric vehicles. (Sacramento Bee)
• A California utility is partnering with two blockchain startups to launch a pilot project that will track electric vehicle charging.  (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: An Arizona solar company has joined several other major energy companies to bankroll a national campaign pushing for a carbon tax. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• China’s potential tariffs on coal doesn’t diminish Wyoming coal producers’ hopes of establishing an Asian export market. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• With a major coal plant on the verge of closing and the natural gas sector on shaky ground, one New Mexico county faces a new economic reality. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• A federal appeals court rejects environmentalists’ claims that the U.S. government should evaluate climate change impacts on leasing federal land for coal mining. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: The Colorado Supreme Court rules that a dispute between Boulder and Xcel Energy over the city’s decision to form its own utility should be heard in district court. (Boulder Daily Camera)

OIL AND GAS:
• Alaska regulators adopt new rules requiring oil and gas companies to dig deep enough to avoid problems with thawing permafrost. (KTOO)
• Voters in one southern California county will decide in November whether to ban new drilling. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
• Citing threats to a caribou herd that roams from Alaska to Canada, thousands of Canadians and two territorial governments ask BLM to prohibit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Calgary Herald)
• Anti-fracking activists prompt a northern Colorado city council to adjourn just before taking a vote on a sweeping set of new oil and gas restrictions. (Boulder Daily Camera)

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PIPELINES: California regulators are scheduled to vote this week on a $639 million natural gas pipeline project, which includes replacing a 70-year-old line. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

COMMENTARY: When it comes to energy development on public lands, we need smart and inclusive decision making, says a former Nevada utility regulator. (High Country News)

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