Western Energy News

California utility bankruptcy: First casualty of climate change?

• Energy experts say PG&E’s bankruptcy filing is one of the first major financial casualties from climate change, and won’t be the last. (New York Times)

• Meanwhile, the utility’s outgoing CEO is expected to take home a severance ranging from $2.3 to $4.4 million dollars. (Bloomberg)
• California lawmakers aren’t rushing to bail out the state’s largest utility now that it’s filed for bankruptcy protection. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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• The Colorado Supreme Court rules that Colorado regulators don’t have to prioritize public health and the environment over other considerations when issuing drilling permits. (The Colorado Independent)
• An international bank says it likely won’t finance drilling in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska, or any other project exacerbating climate change. (The Hill)

• New Mexico’s new land commissioner is proposing the state create a renewable energy office to encourage development of wind, solar and other clean energy sources on state trust lands. (Associated Press)
• A legislative proposal putting a cap on carbon pollution in Oregon has drawn opposition from Portland’s Socialist party. (Willamette Week)
• The Arizona congressman who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee is throwing his support behind a Republican colleague from Utah to become the next Interior secretary. (The Hill)

MICROGRIDS: As the threat of climate change-fueled wildfire continues to grow in the West, one San Francisco Bay-area clean energy developer is working with California fire stations to develop resilient microgrids. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: A Portland utility is proposing to offer some customers rebates for reducing their energy use during peak demand times. (PV Magazine)

SOLAR: An electric co-op that supplies power to eastern New Mexico has agreed to buy 220 MW of power from a local solar plant scheduled to open in 2022. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

PIPELINES: The National Energy Board of Canada has agreed that orca protection must be part of the effort to build a billion dollar pipeline project opposed by Washington tribal leaders. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

CLIMATE: Even after a plan to create a carbon fee was shot down by voters in Washington state, most residents still support some kind of action to address climate change, according to a new poll. (Seattle Weekly)

RESEARCH: The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1.3 million to the University of Hawaii to further its research into converting ocean waves to energy. (University of Hawaii News)

COMMENTARY: Now that PG&E has filed for bankruptcy, maybe it’s time for California lawmakers to consider breaking it up, says the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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