Western Energy News

California raises the possibility of banning gasoline-powered cars

TRANSPORTATION: California’s top air quality regulator says the state might consider banning cars that run on fossil fuels and other “extreme” requirements to offset the increase in pollution created by the Trump administration’s plan to relax vehicle emission standards. (Bloomberg)

GRID: A solar-powered microgrid installed by a small northern California tribe could provide a model for how local communities can prepare for disasters fueled by climate change. (Wired)

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TRANSMISSION: New Mexico regulators have rejected a proposal to reconsider their decision to charge Facebook for half of an $85 million transmission line. (Albuquerque Journal)

COAL: Federal energy officials say they are actively working to prevent a struggling Montana coal plant from closing. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• California’s skyrocketing gasoline prices could be a result of “possible market manipulation” by some retailers, according to a report from state energy officials. (Associated Press)
• A coalition of environmental groups and public health advocates have sued the U.S. Interior Department over its approval of pipelines and power lines to service a Utah oil shale project. (E&E News, subscription)
• Lobbyists for the oil and gas industry are pleading with Utah lawmakers to approve a bill that would eliminate the sales tax currently paid by operators. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Another Colorado community issues a temporary moratorium on new drilling as state regulators craft new rules for the oil and gas industry that emphasize safety and environmental protection. (Loveland Reporter Herald)

UTILITIES:
• A Nevada lawmaker files a last-minute bill that would make it more difficult for large customers of the state’s largest utility to sever ties. (The Nevada Independent)
• Meanwhile, a recent agreement between Nevada Energy and a Las Vegas casino and resort corporation might encourage other large companies to stay with the utility, a former state regulator says. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

SOLAR: Goldman Sachs has purchased part of a 100 MW solar project in California, a key resource for the state’s community choice aggregators. (Greentech Media)

WIND: The largest wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore has purchased a new system to deter endangered bats from flying into the turbines. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Even as sales of electric vehicles increase in California, the state continues to struggle to reduce vehicle air pollution. (CALmatters)

POLITICS: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee rolls out his plan to spend $9 trillion to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels while creating green jobs and reinvigorating unions. (Seattle Times)

RESEARCH: A research well drilled in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska last year could be the key to unlocking vast deposits of natural gas trapped in ice. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

CLIMATE: The University of Oregon and a group working against Gov. Kate Brown’s climate change legislation tried to conceal details about their relationship, redacted records show. (The Oregonian)

COMMENTARY: The president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association says consumers will buy electric vehicles when they’re ready and don’t need to be prodded into the decision by a California-style mandate. (Colorado Politics)

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