Western Energy News

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

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• 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)

ALSO:
• 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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UTILITIES:
• 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)

SOLAR:
• 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)

COAL:
• 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)

OIL AND GAS:
• 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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RENEWABLES:
• 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)

COMMENTARY:
• 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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