Western Energy News

California lost 20,000 clean energy jobs in March

CLEAN ENERGY: A new report indicates 20,000 California clean energy workers lost their jobs in the first few weeks of the coronavirus shutdown, the largest number of any state. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES: A U.S. judge has cancelled a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it does not shut down work already started in Montana that has local Native American tribes worried about workers possibly bringing added coronavirus risk. (Associated Press, Wyoming Public Media)

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POLLUTION:
California’s Environmental Protection Agency says it will “fill any enforcement gaps” as the U.S. EPA scales back. (Bloomberg Law)
The Sierra Club files a lawsuit against the EPA, alleging the agency is violating the Clean Air Act by failing to take final action on Arizona air pollution. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
Major Permian Basin oil and gas producers say they are ramping up efforts to control air pollution and environmental impacts amid staffing reductions during the coronavirus pandemic. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says the state faces possible economic disaster due to market volatility in the oil and gas energy and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (Casper Star-Tribune)

BIOFUELS: Wyoming and Utah are among five states asking the EPA for a nationwide waiver exempting the oil-refining industry from federal biofuel requirements. (Reuters)

GRID: Energy groups say California is behind on dynamic solutions to protect the reliability of its grid. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION: The coronavirus pandemic is fueling a bike boom in cities across the U.S., but it’s unclear whether that trend will last after stay-at-home orders are lifted. (E&E News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A consultant says California’s zero-emissions truck programs will likely weather the coronavirus crisis thanks to the release of Volkswagen settlement money and market momentum. (Freight Waves)

UTILITIES:
Members of a Colorado co-op that recently left its energy provider are promised rate certainty and more renewables under a new contract with a Denver-based energy company. (Colorado Public Radio, Montrose Press)
• In a report to Colorado regulators, Black Hills Energy says it has received 54 bids for new renewable energy capacity at the lowest prices it has ever seen. (Pueblo Chieftain)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• Alaska’s remote Indigenous communities are divided on the Trump administration’s plan to allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Al Jazeera)
A conservation group launches a campaign to protect California’s Diablo Range from threats including energy development. (DanvilleSanRamon.com)

COAL: New Mexico regulators are considering a utility’s plans to replace the capacity that will be lost by abandoning the San Juan Generating Station. (Associated Press)

HYDROPOWER: Advocates remain hopeful about a plan to demolish four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to save salmon, the largest such demolition project in U.S. history. (KTVZ)

SOLAR: Colorado Springs Utilities announces the start of operations for its new 60 MW solar array. (Environment + Energy Leader)

TRANSMISSION: PG&E has added a remotely-operated device to power lines in a California county that will allow the utility to restore power faster to customers after planned power outages. (Red Bluff Daily News)

COMMENTARY: A Navajo climate advocate says the EPA’s sweeping pollution waiver could have a disproportionate effect on tribal communities, communities of color, and low-income communities. (Colorado Independent)

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