Western Energy News

California regulators launch efforts to decarbonize buildings

EFFICIENCY: California regulators approve a legislative plan to spend $200 million over four years on low-carbon heating technologies, part of new statewide effort aimed at decarbonizing buildings. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: California contractors are encouraging homeowners to use loans meant for energy efficiency improvements for questionable projects, a practice consumer attorneys worry could lead to a new foreclosure crisis. (Los Angeles Times)

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• A federal judge rules that a bankrupt Colorado coal company can eliminate retiree healthcare and a union contract to sell a Wyoming mine. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A Montana coal-fired power plant could soon sever ties with its current supplier, which is going through bankruptcy proceedings. (Billings Gazette)
• Two Navajo Nation groups plan to sue the operator of an Arizona coal mine, accusing the company of trying to sidestep its cleanup obligations. (KNAU)

• California’s governor appoints a former solar energy executive as the new chairman of the state energy commission. (Microgrid Knowledge)
• The future of solar energy development remains uncertain in Wyoming, where wind remains the dominant source of renewable energy. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Southern Arizona’s second-largest school district celebrates the first phase of a two-year project to install solar panels throughout its campuses. (Arizona Public Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Idaho is penalizing drivers of electric vehicles with an extra registration fee that exceeds their impact on roads, according to data recently presented to state lawmakers. (Idaho Press)

• New Mexico lawmakers reject legislation that would have raised royalty rates for oil and gas production on state trust lands. (Associated Press)
• As Wyoming wildlife managers prepare to designate two new migration corridors, some advocacy groups want assurances oil and gas development won’t impact local herds. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Two western Colorado citizen groups are suing state oil and gas regulators over their decision to allow a company to drill 24 new wells about 500 feet away from some homes. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

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PIPELINES: A federal judge in Montana has denied a request from the Canadian company developing the Keystone XL pipeline to allow them to resume work halted by a previous court order. (Associated Press)

• Oregon lawmakers are on the right track with their clean energy bill, especially when it comes to pairing investments with the state’s carbon-absorbing forests, says the former chair of state global warming commission. (The Oregonian)
• A former Colorado congressman says Western conservatives need to put forward concrete solutions to environmental problems and cites two efforts in Utah as good examples of smart public policy. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• The New Mexico governor’s plan to cut methane emissions finally puts the interests of the state’s citizens above those of the oil and gas industry, says a local national parks advocate. (Albuquerque Journal)


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