Western Energy News

California regulator sanctions PG&E over blackouts

CALIFORNIA: California’s senior utility regulator slams PG&E for its “failures in execution” and issues a series of sanctions against the bankrupt utility, demanding an overhaul of its “unacceptable” planned outages strategy. (San Francisco Chronicle)

• California Gov. Gavin Newsom says PG&E should pay rebates to customers who lost power during last week’s power shutdowns. (Fort Bragg Advocate-News)
• Attorneys representing the city of Santa Rosa and several counties file a complaint with California regulators critical of PG&E’s communications with local governments and emergency management agencies. (Associated Press)
• A University of California researcher says the power outage may have wiped out $500,000 in cancer studies as she only had 12 hours to get her samples packed and relocated; PG&E is disputing her timeline. (San Francisco Gate)
• PG&E inspectors found more than 100 places where its system was damaged by recent strong winds, including downed power lines and trees that hit lines — which could have sparked wildfires. (Associated Press)
• Los Angeles fire officials have determined the origin of the destructive Saddle Ridge Fire began beneath a high-voltage transmission tower owned by Southern California Edison. (Associated Press)

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New analyses explore the response of Wyoming lawmakers to the state’s unprecedented coal bankruptcies and whether or not a new Wyoming law can delay the coal plant closures plaguing the state. (Caper Star-Tribune, WyoFile)
Wyoming’s newly formed Select Committee on Coal/Mineral Bankruptcies is grappling with solutions to protect workers and taxes in coal company bankruptcies damaging Powder River Basin communities. (WyoFile)

OIL & GAS: A new federal survey projects an oil and gas drilling slowdown into 2020 for Colorado. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

PUBLIC LANDS: The Bureau of Land Management opens a two-week comment period on its February 2020 oil and gas lease sale environmental analysis as Democratic presidential candidates call for a drilling ban on public lands. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

Idaho Power reaches an agreement on paying homeowners who generate electricity with rooftop solar panels and other renewables. (Associated Press)
Experts say whether or not solar and batteries can outlast an extended power outage depends on multiple factors. (Greentech Media)
An agreement with a local utility is helping the University of Arizona move forward with a solar roof project. (Daily Wildcat)

WIND: The developer behind Oahu, Hawaii’s Kahuku wind farm was prevented from delivering heavy equipment by protestors. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

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• Marking Indigenous Peoples Day, the Yakama and Lummi tribes call for the removal of three major dams on the Columbia River. (Oregonian)
• Some Hawaii activists protesting the Kahuku wind project and the Sherwood Forest park development feel grassroots momentum is building as the nonviolent “kapu aloha” protest strategy spreads across communities. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

• An Alaska writer kicks off a four-part series on the roots of the state’s ongoing fiscal problems, exploring how big decisions made about oil money in the 1980s impact today. (Anchorage Daily News)
• An economist explores Alaska’s oil tax initiative and what entails the state and taxpayers getting a “fair share.” (Anchorage Daily News)

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