Western Energy News

California lawmakers to consider utility wildfire fund

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: California Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a crucial test this week as he attempts to convince lawmakers to ratify his multi-billion utility wildfire fund. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR:
• The rooftop solar industry is thriving in Nevada despite recent incentive cutbacks. (The Nevada Independent)
• A national nonprofit that helps communities form solar energy cooperatives is organizing across Colorado. (Denver Post)

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COAL:
• Wyoming coal miners and their families worry whether life will ever be the same after the sudden closure of two mines. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• A federal bankruptcy judge approved interim funding for the mines’ owner but it’s not enough to end an employee lockout. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Colorado utility customers could save more than $1 billion if 10 local coal plant units were retired early and replaced with wind and solar energy, according to a disputed report by a national environmental group. (Denver Post)

UTILITIES:
• Officials with Arizona’s largest utility confirm the company has been sued twice over the last decade by families of customers who died after their power was cut because they didn’t pay their bills. (Arizona Republic)
• A rural Colorado electric co-op seeks a restraining order against its power provider to attempt to stop it from placing itself under federal regulation to avoid state oversight on rates. (Utility Dive)
• Meanwhile, Colorado lawmakers ask Tri-State Generation and Transmission to hold off on formally asking federal energy regulators to set rates. (Denver Post)
• Nevada regulators investigate the state’s largest utility’s failure to set aside millions of dollars in incentives for energy storage. (The Nevada Independent)

TRANSPORTATION: By 2020, electric vehicle drivers in Oregon will have a choice: either pay higher registration fees or enroll in a program that charges a fee for road usage in lieu of a gas tax. (Salem Statesman Journal)

HYDROPOWER: Officials with the utilities serving much of southern Washington say removing some of the lower Snake River’s dams would hinder their ability to provide reliable, affordable power. (Tri-City Herald)

GRID: Hawaii has the highest prices for electricity in the nation, while Washington has the lowest, according to a new study by a personal finance website. (Pacific Business News)

WIND: A Colorado company wins a bid to develop a 250 MW wind farm on state trust land in New Mexico. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: As oil and gas wells have multiplied across New Mexico’s Permian Basin, so have traffic accidents. (Searchlight New Mexico)

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CLIMATE: The Colorado governor’s office unveils a new website designed to allow residents to see whether the state is meeting its new climate and energy goals. (Westword)

COMMENTARY: An editorial board says it’s time for the federal government to look at the disparity between royalty rates on state lands vs. federal lands (Albuquerque Journal)

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