Western Energy News

California restaurant group sues over natural gas ban

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ELECTRIFICATION: The California Restaurant Association is suing Berkeley over the city’s natural gas ban, saying it violates existing law and will hurt businesses. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TRANSPORTATION:
A proposed “post-car” mixed-use development in Tempe, Arizona will prohibit residents from storing cars onsite and encourage alternatives. (Fast Company)
Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s new electric pickup truck yesterday in Los Angeles, which is drawing criticism for a design some liken to dystopian sci-fi movies. (Verge, CNBC)

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CALIFORNIA:
A new regulatory audit of PG&E’s transmission systems reveals the utility was 632 days late in repairing two critical threats near the origin of the deadly and destructive Camp Fire. (NBC Bay Area)
A California state senator plans to introduce legislation designed to help medical equipment and cellphone towers stay in operation longer in emergencies such as fires and earthquakes. (Pleasanton Weekly)

OIL & GAS:
The Trump administration is set to consider expanded oil drilling and a new management plan for Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. (Associated Press)
Colorado regulators approve new rules creating the first-ever public mapping of underground oil and gas lines. (Denver Post)
Advocacy groups are concerned Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s regulatory rollback could weaken rules developed in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. (Anchorage Daily News)
Planning officials decline to support a rezoning proposed for a major North Slope Alaska oil project after hearing concerns from presidents of a village partially encircled by developments. (Alaska Public Media)
Hundreds of protestors opposed to a liquefied natural gas pipeline and a marine export terminal in Oregon stage a sit-in at the governor’s office. (Associated Press)

COAL:
Salt River Project official agreed to pay Peabody Energy $21 million to settle cleanup claims for Arizona’s Kayenta coal mine. (Arizona Republic)
The owner of Montana’s coal-fired Colstrip Power Plant accelerates its plan to be financially ready to exit Units 3 and 4 by nine years to 2025. (Billings Gazette)

UTILITIES: Avista reaches a partial settlement in its request to increase electric and natural gas rates; if approved by Washington regulators, the new rates would take effect April 1. (Spokesman-Review)

GRID:
A new analysis examines a groundbreaking 30-megawatt distributed energy storage-plus-solar solicitation by a group of California Community Choice Aggregators. (Greentech Media)
An analysis explores if now is the time for microgrid technology, citing a renewable energy conference powered by a fully functional, renewably powered microgrid. (GreenBiz)

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CLEAN ENERGY: A California county approves a $4.5 million renewable energy project for a government complex that includes solar panels and battery storage. (Santa Barbara Independent)

COMMENTARY:
Two Sierra Club representatives say Montana lags behind Idaho and Wyoming in transitioning away from burning fossil fuels for electricity. (Billings Gazette)
An energy researcher says there is a lot to learn from California’s challenges of a planned energy transition and resilience of such a system to natural disaster. (Forbes)

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