Western Energy News

California utilities under renewed scrutiny for possible role in wildfires

FIRES: Two California utilities are facing increased scrutiny over their possible roles in the deadly wildfires sweeping the state. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: The day before a deadly wildlife erupted in northern California, the state’s largest utility responded to reports of sparks coming from one of its power lines near the area where investigators now believe the fire started. (Associated Press)

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• The Permian Basin is driving a surge of drilling in New Mexico where the BLM is failing to respond to a host of problems on the federal land it manages there. (Center for Public Integrity)
• New Mexico regulators contemplate an arid future and the possibility of reusing treated wastewater from the state’s booming oil and gas industry. (Associated Press)
• An oil and gas company’s plan to drill near a former nuclear site has thrust a northern Colorado city into the fray over oil and gas production. (Boulder Daily Camera)
• Oil and gas companies operating in Wyoming’s western gas fields are becoming increasingly interested in horizontal drilling. (Casper Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: All-electric homes are catching on in Sacramento where developers can receive lucrative incentives from the local utility. (Greentech Media)

TRANSPORTATION: California voters bucked a national trend when they decided to keep the state’s gas tax. (Grist)

PIPELINES: Questionable economics might threaten the Keystone XL pipeline more than a recent federal judge’s ruling from Montana. (Forbes)

POLITICS: Even though voters shot down a ballot measure to increase drilling setbacks, another battle over Colorado’s oil and gas industry is likely looming as Democrats take both chambers of the statehouse. (Denver Post)

GRID: A utility that serves most of Montana joins the Western Energy Imbalance Market in an effort to lower costs for customers and provide cleaner energy. (Utility Dive)

HYDROPOWER: A delegation from Belarus visits central Montana to learn about renewable energy with a focus on hydropower. (Great Falls Tribune)

• Two environmentalists encourage BP’s CEO to tell the Trump administration not to roll back federal rules for methane pollution at a hearing in Denver, not too far from the company’s new headquarters. (Denver Post)
• Two environmentalists applaud a Portland-area transit agency’s decision to convert its fleet of diesel buses to ones that run on electricity. (Pamplin Media Group)

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