Western Energy News

California utilities explore new rates for electric vehicles

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California’s three investor-owned utilities are testing new rate designs that could make driving electric vehicles more affordable while stabilizing the grid. (Utility Dive)

PG&E BANKRUPTCY:
• The world’s biggest solar and wind company has asked federal regulators to prohibit California utility PG&E from shirking their power purchase agreements. (Bloomberg)
• PG&E says it would cost between $75 and $150 billion dollars to comply with a judge’s order to reduce its wildfire risks. (Reuters)

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OIL AND GAS:
• Public relations strategists working for Exxon posed as journalists in an attempt to interview an attorney representing Colorado communities suing the company for climate change-related damages. (Climate Liability News)
• Anti-fracking activists have filed a lawsuit in Colorado challenging the state’s “forced pooling” rule that allows oil and gas companies to extract minerals without the landowner’s consent. (Reuters)
• A Colorado town has extended its moratorium on new drilling through the summer in anticipation state lawmakers will soon adopt restrictions on oil and gas development. (Boulder Daily Camera)

SOLAR:
• The world’s largest solar plus storage plant comes online in Hawaii and depends on the sun and a flock of sheep to keep it running. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
• A city in southwestern Colorado has earned national recognition for its efforts to make it easier to get solar panels permitted and installed. (Durango Herald)

UTILITIES:
• Two more California utilities see their credit ratings downgraded as concerns continue to mount whether lawmakers will come up with a plan to confront the growing risk of climate change for power providers. (Bloomberg)
• Citing opposition by state regulators in the Pacific Northwest, a Canadian company and a Spokane utility call off plans for a $5.3 billion merger. (The Spokesman-Review)
• Nevada’s largest utility files a host of concerns with state regulators over exit plans from some of its commercial customers. (The Nevada Independent)

NUCLEAR: Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups renewed their criticism of a plan to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel rods at a proposed site in New Mexico during a hearing with federal regulators. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

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POLITICS:
• A group spearheaded by a Wyoming state lawmaker has launched a signature-gathering effort to try to put a wind tax increase on the ballot next year. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Clean energy advocates in Montana are rallying their support for a proposal to allow private capital firms to fund renewable energy projects for commercial buildings. (Helena Record Independent)

COMMENTARY: Regions with closed nuclear plants need to keep pressuring Congress to update antiquated laws to prevent waste from piling up across the country, say three members of a volunteer group working to close a California nuclear plant. (Los Angeles Times)

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