Western Energy News

California pushes back on EPA plan to relax pollution laws

POLLUTION: California’s attorney general is critical of the EPA’s plan to relax enforcement during the coronavirus crisis, saying the plan will “further endanger public health” by exposing vulnerable people to pollution. (Bloomberg Environment)

ALSO: The committee in favor of expanding Aspen, Colorado’s airport apparently decided that the threat of losing commercial service into the area outweighed potential environmental impacts. (Aspen Journalism)

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BIOFUELS: While a California natural gas utility touts the benefits of “renewable” natural gas produced from dairies, landfills and other sources, advocates say electrification is a better option. (Los Angeles Times)

HYDROGEN:
• Plans for a City of Los Angeles hydrogen plant in Utah highlight the potential and challenges for hydrogen technology in reaching climate goals. (GreenBiz)
• A California public-private partnership promoting fuel cell vehicles hopes to develop a network of 1,000 hydrogen stations in the state by 2030. (H2 View)

PUBLIC LANDS: Activists are concerned about the BLM’s resource management plan for a Colorado Field Office, specifically oil and gas leasing in the North Fork Valley. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

CLIMATE: An environmental policy expert participating in a climate education forum says the coronavirus pandemic is a stark lesson about what happens when warnings from science are ignored. (University of Colorado Boulder)

GRID: California grid operators saw significant load reductions from March 17 to March 28, with the heaviest impact occurring during morning peak hours, due to its coronavirus shelter-in-place order. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
Major U.S. banks are developing subsidiaries to become oil and gas field operators to avoid losses on loans to energy companies, including those in western shale basins, that may go bankrupt. (New York Times)
A new report indicates Colorado’s oil and gas industry is unlikely to recover quickly from the global price war and coronavirus pandemic. (Denver Post)
A California appeals court ruled that 213 permits for new wells in a heavily used oil field approved by the California Department of Conservation are exempt from the state’s Environmental Quality Act. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
• A Colorado county won’t issue a public health order to stop a Denver-based oil company from working on wells during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge warned it faced hundreds of millions in potential legal damages. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

TRANSMISSION: Three western multi-state transmission projects are among seven linked to wind and solar power that could prove to be beneficial over the next decade. (Greentech Media)

GEOTHERMAL: The CEO of a California-based geothermal energy company says lowering the up-front cost of building a geothermal power plant would help operators lower electricity prices, which could garner interest from utilities. (Grist)

EFFICIENCY: The CEO of a Colorado-based clean energy firm says clean energy lenders “are in a panic situation that I haven’t seen since 2008.” (Bloomberg Environment)

UTILITIES: A PG&E email about the credit on customers’ April bill to help offset costs of staying at home due to the coronavirus crisis is actually the California Climate Credit they were already entitled to before the pandemic. (San Francisco Chronicle) 

COMMENTARY: An investment adviser says PG&E’s bankruptcy exit is unlikely to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis. (Bloomberg)

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