Western Energy News

California lawmakers seek $100 billion for clean energy

RENEWABLES: A group of Democratic lawmakers are proposing California spend $100 billion over the next 12 years to dramatically curtail carbon emissions and boost clean energy. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A federal bankruptcy judge has approved  a Colorado coal company’s reorganization plan which calls for selling its mines in Montana, New Mexico and several other states to creditors. (Associated Press)
• Meanwhile, the company’s Wyoming mine is sold to a Virginia businessman under the bankruptcy plan. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A bill that aims to phase out coal and increase clean energy use in New Mexico is headed to the state Senate for a vote. (Albuquerque Journal)

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GRID: As renewable energy booms and natural gas plants close, California regulators are giving new scrutiny to the state’s resource adequacy program to ensure the grid continues operating smoothly. (Greentech Media)

GEOTHERMAL: The owner of Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant, which closed last due to a volcano eruption, says it will resume operations later this year. (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A bill providing funding to build more electric vehicle charging stations in Colorado advances through committee. (The Denver Channel)

TRANSPORTATION: The Washington Senate has passed a bill requiring crude oil be made less volatile if transported by train. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• The survivor of a 2017 deadly house explosion caused by an uncapped flow line will testify on behalf of a new bill seeking sweeping changes to the way the oil and gas industry is regulated in Colorado. (Denver Post)
• Federal land managers net $87 million for an oil and gas lease sale in Wyoming where conservation groups voiced concerns about the impact of drilling on an imperiled bird. (Reuters)
• The Alaska state Senate passes a resolution encouraging drilling in a local national wildlife refuge. (Juneau Empire)

UTILITIES: U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana has reintroduced a bill seeking to increase rural electric cooperatives’ access to capital. (Daily Energy Insider)

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RESEARCH: University of Utah researchers have developed a quick and cost-effective way to convert algae into biofuel. (University of Utah)

COMMENTARY:
• A bill that proposes a Montana coal plant be sold to a local power provider for $1 “doesn’t give NorthWestern Energy a blank check,” says the utility’s CEO. (Great Falls Tribune)
• A bill directing utilities to offer both analog and smart meters isn’t fair to utilities or customers, says the editorial board of the Bend Bulletin.

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