Western Energy News

California lawmakers revive 100-percent carbon-free power proposal

POLITICS: California lawmakers revive a long-stalled plan to get all of the state’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. (Associated Press)

ALSO: A ballot initiative to fund clean energy projects through fees on fossil fuels is likely headed to voters in Washington state this fall. (The Spokesman- Review)

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RENEWABLES:
• Colorado is emerging as a national model for how to expand renewable energy to low-income residents. (InsideClimate News)
• Hawaii is falling short of its goal of getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2045, according to a new state report. (Hawaii News Now)

WIND: Montana’s transmission system is capable of carrying wind power to customers in the Northwest, a new report finds. (Montana Public Radio)

SOLAR:
• New rooftop solar customers in Nevada will see smaller reimbursement rates next month as net metering applications reach a state limit. (Nevada Independent)
• A Norwegian company that supplies silicon to the solar industry announces plans to lay off 100 people at a Washington state plant, citing the growing trade war between the U.S. and China. (Reuters)

STORAGE:
• A California startup lays off its workforce, bringing an end to one of the more unique projects within the battery industry. (Greentech Media)
• A California utility proposes the world’s biggest battery system to replace gas peaker plants. (Greentech Media)

OIL AND GAS:
• Utah oil and gas companies won an exemption from federal smog rules after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with an industry lobbyist, emails show. (Politico)
• The BLM resurrects a proposal to lease more than 236,000 acres in Colorado for oil and gas development, drawing criticism from environmental groups. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• A deal between a conservation group and oil and gas companies will retire 24,000 acres in Wyoming from future drilling. (Jackson Hole News and Guide)

BIOMASS: A Tucson-area utility contemplates a forest biomass project and could file a proposal as early as next year. (Arizona Daily Star)

NUCLEAR:
• House lawmakers will tour the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada in mid-July. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A federal regulator refuses to recuse himself from decisions about Yucca Mountain despite objections from Nevada leaders over his past advocacy for waste storage at the site. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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COAL: A proposal to extend the life of a New Mexico coal mine would have minimal impact on local air and water quality, according to a new federal review. (Durango Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• Colorado is friendly to responsible oil and gas companies, but if they can’t follow state rules maybe they should leave, says the head of the Environmental Defense Fund’s national oil and gas programs. (Denver Post)
• California should not pass a risky plan to expand its grid to include other Western states, says an editorial board. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Utah congressman is “kowtowing to the oil and gas industry” by introducing a bill to make it harder for the public to comment on public land projects, says a Moab bike shop manager. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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