Western Energy News

California legislators approve $21 billion utility wildfire fund

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: California lawmakers give final approval to a bill creating a $21 billion wildfire fund for utilities. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• California’s governor fires the state’s top oil and gas regulator amid conflict of interest allegations. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
• The Bureau of Land Management office in Carlsbad, New Mexico, faces accusations that staffers routinely skirt environmental rules in favor of the oil and gas industry, documents show. (High Country News)
• Aurora, Colorado, officials consider creating an oil and gas division now that a new state law gives local governments more control over drilling. (Aurora Sentinel)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Oregon has been slow to release millions of dollars intended for electric vehicle rebates, partly because of a lawsuit by AAA to block the program. (Willamette Week)

RENEWABLES:
• A massive solar plus storage project recently announced by Los Angeles is another example of how clean energy is knocking fossil fuels off the grid. (Science Magazine)
• Tribes across the West are turning to clean energy to provide new streams of revenue. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES:
• Arizona utility regulators approve a new code of ethics that limits how much anyone with business the commission can contribute to candidates. (Capitol Media Services)
• Meanwhile, regulators want the CEO of the Arizona’s largest utility to speak at their next meeting. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• A southwestern Colorado electrical co-op agrees to pay the federal government $1.2 million for costs in fighting a 2010 fire. (Denver Post)

NUCLEAR: A Nevada congressman calls on Energy Secretary Rick Perry to resign after its was revealed the U.S. Department of Energy may have mistakenly shipped nuclear waste to the state again. (Aiken Standard)

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SOLAR:
• A Canadian company proposes a new solar farm on Oahu, raising objections from some residents who say the land should only be used by native Hawaiians. (KITV)
• An effort to bring more solar energy to Pocatello, Idaho, has exceeded its target. (Idaho State Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• The recent revelation that the U.S. Department of Energy may have mistakenly shipped nuclear waste to Nevada is more evidence why residents shouldn’t trust the federal government’s assurances that permanently storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would be safe, says a local editorial board. (Las Vegas Sun)
• California residents “should always be skeptical when their politicians overhaul the state’s electrical utility system while promising more efficient, less pollution and reasonably priced service,” says a local columnist. (CALmatters)

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