Western Energy News

California regulator: PG&E ‘failed on pretty simple stuff’  

CALIFORNIA: PG&E executives faced intense criticism over recent power outages on Friday from PUC president Marybel Batjer, who said the bankrupt utility “failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff.” (New York Times)

ALSO: California lawmakers hope Batjer will help reform the commission, which they say has been too utility-friendly and especially soft on PG&E. (Los Angeles Times)

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• Contura subsidiary Eagle Specialty Materials has apparently closed its $13.5 million deal to assume ownership of two former Blackjewel mines in Wyoming, potentially good news for former mine employees eager to return to work. (Gillette News Record)
Experts say the accelerating closure of coal plants across the West isn’t quick enough to meet climate change goals. (Arizona Central, subscription)

PIPELINES: The developer of the proposed Bridger Expansion project revealed two oil pipelines will be built; one straddling North Dakota and Montana and one in Wyoming. (Grand Forks Herald)

A new analysis says PacifiCorp, the largest grid operator in the West, is representative of how fast renewable energy adoption is happening on a regional scale in the transition from coal. (Park Record)
A California lawmaker who introduced the state’s newly signed bill requiring manufacturers to develop smart appliances says it will help modernize the state’s electrical grid. (Daily Energy Insider)

Aera Energy says it’s cutting the number of wells for its proposed East Cat Canyon Oil Field Redevelopment Project in California from 296 to 189. (Santa Maria Times)
A little-known Texas-based family-owned oil producer has emerged as the Permian Basin’s top private operator. (Houston Chronicle)

State and local leaders across the West are collaborating across party lines to fight climate change in the absence of federal action. (Bitterroot)
Alaska Native youth during a convention last weekend argued for reinstating a task force that would advocate for climate policies, develop Indigenous voices, and declare a state of emergency on climate change. (Anchorage Daily News)

RENEWABLES: A new analysis explores why renewable energy projects are slow to develop on tribal lands, highlighting the Navajo Nation’s lack of progress despite its transition from coal to clean energy. (Arizona Central, subscription)

A Wyoming editorial board says PacificCorp’s clean energy plan highlights the need for communities to stop hoping for a change in coal’s fortunes and make changes now. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A podcast explores the scope of, fallout from, and solutions for California’s unprecedented power shutdowns due to wildfire threats. (Greentech Media)
Wyoming conservationists say neither the state nor federal sage grouse plans provide anywhere near the basic level of habitat protections the birds need to survive. (Wyoming Star-Tribune)
The executive director of New Mexicans for Economic Prosperity says the state’s energy development opportunity from soaring production of oil and gas in the Permian and San Juan basins is politically bipartisan. (Albuquerque Journal)

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