Western Energy News

California utilities to invest $768 million in the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure

• California regulators approve a series of proposals by utilities to spend more than $768 million on the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure. (San Francisco Chronicle)

• Strategic electric vehicle charging could provide a solution to California grid operators who are struggling to bring more renewables online, researchers say. (Greentech Media)
• Most Washington state agencies and local governments are not complying with a law requiring them to convert fleets to electric vehicles or those than run on biofuels. (Seattle Times)

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• As lawsuits continue to mount from last year’s rash of deadly wildfires, the future of California’s largest utility hangs in the balance. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Meanwhile, California lawmakers are considering establishing a wildfire relief fund to help both victims and utilities faced with rising liability costs. (Bloomberg)
• Utah regulators approve a request by a utility to lower natural gas rates by $97 million. (Deseret News)

• As Wyoming prepares to open its largest solar farm to date, the state still lags behind the rest of nation in solar generation. (Wyoming Public Media)
• The Trump administration proposes a review of a California solar plan, threatening to upend a truce between desert dwellers, the solar industry and environmentalists. (High Country News)
• The Oregon Court of Appeals blocks an 80-acre solar farm project in the southwestern part of the state. (Capital Press)
California’s new rooftop solar mandate could transform the way new homes and panels look. (San Francisco Chronicle)

• EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt touts Wyoming coal as a cleaner alternative to Asian sources. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• The University of Wyoming receives a $10 million grant to study whether carbon dioxide can be captured from coal-fired power plants and stored underground at a utility-scale site near Gillette. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Western Republican lawmakers single out Washington state leaders for blocking coal exports from Wyoming and Montana. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A federal appeals court dismisses a lawsuit by the state of Texas seeking to force a licensing decision for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

• Three companies have applied to do extensive seismic work in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the first steps toward drilling in the pristine wilderness area. (Washington Post)
• Technology that’s widely used to detect methane leaks from oil and gas wells doesn’t adequately work in the Alaskan cold weather, according to new research and industry reports. (InsideClimate News)
• Drilling in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin sparks a clash between Native American tribes and landowners over protecting cultural resources. (Casper Star-Tribune)

PIPELINES: Alaska is considering a $43 billion natural gas pipeline, worrying environmentalists about increased air pollution, habitat loss and climate change. (Outside)

TECHNOLOGY: A Silicon Valley startup reaches a tipping point in its quest to deliver next generation electronics to the power grid through a new deal with Xcel Energy. (Greentech Media)

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• Colorado State University is backing a “green tariff” to help it achieve its goal transitioning to clean energy by 2030. (The Coloradoan)
• Alaska’s lieutenant governor says it’s time for the state to diversify its energy portfolio and embrace renewables. (Alaska Public Radio Network)

• Utah’s “all of the above” energy strategy is a loose euphemism for fossil fuel extraction, says a former coal miner. (Deseret News)
• In a natural disaster, solar energy could be a lifesaver, says the president of a Utah solar company. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• An Arizona Republic columnist said the state’s largest utility is using scare tactics to try to persuade voters to reject a clean energy ballot measure.
• California’s decision to require new rooftop solar panels on all the new homes is a rash, risky mistake, says the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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