Western Energy News

California study ties low birth weight risk to oil and gas activity

CORRECTION: An item in Wednesday’s digest about imported materials in solar panels was from 2013 and was included by mistake. 

OIL & GAS:
A first-of-its-kind study finds that pregnant women in rural California were 40% more likely to give birth to babies with a low birthweight if living near active oil and gas wells. (Cal Matters)
An investigation into elevated levels of benzene near a Greeley, Colorado school finds no air quality health risks for students or residents. (Denver Post)
Colorado mineral rights owners could sue over the loss of income from shut off oil and gas wells. (Denver Business Journal)

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CALIFORNIA: A PG&E attorney tells its bankruptcy judge the safeguards of a California law that protects private utilities from wildfire liabilities will be lost if the utility’s reorganization plan is not confirmed by the June 30 deadline. (Courthouse News)

COAL: Colorado regulators unanimously vote in favor of a Colorado Springs Utilities plan that would end all production at a local coal-fired power plant no later than 2023 and reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

HYDROPOWER:
An Arizona company’s plans to build hydropower dams on tribal land advances with the acceptance of their application for a federal permit. (Associated Press)
Oregon State University’s wave energy testing facility has received $38.8 million in funding and could begin construction this year. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS:
Congressional Democrats are insisting on bills to address environmental justice along with energy- and environment-related legislation including a public lands conservation bill. (E&E News)
New Mexicans in six state Senate districts vote for grassroots candidates touting clean energy, air, and water over those funded by the oil industry. (KRWG)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico state officials, tribal nations, and communities continue to fight against a proposal to store high-level nuclear waste in the southeastern part of the state. (New Mexico Political Report)

PUBLIC LANDS: Six former Interior secretaries warn against amending wide-ranging public lands legislation, and urge for it to be adopted quickly. (E&E News, subscription)

TRANSMISSION:
FERC and states view transmission initiatives such as the $2.6 billion, 1,000-mile line Gateway West project as a way to jump-start economic recovery while meeting clean energy targets. (E&E News)
Colorado State Democratic Sen. Chris Hansen pulls legislation that challenged Xcel Energy’s ownership of electric transmission lines. (Daily Energy Insider)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Hawaiian Electric announces the full list of winners from its procurement of 460 MW of solar energy and 3 GWh, which will increase the utility’s total solar capacity by more than 50%. (Greentech Media)

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STORAGE: California-based solar PV and storage developer 8minute Solar Energy secures $225 million for an 18 GW pipeline of around 50 solar and storage projects. (PV Magazine)

COMMENTARY: A black scientist says racism is holding back progress on climate change: “How can people of color effectively lead their communities on climate solutions when faced with pervasive and life-shortening racism?” (Washington Post)

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