Western Energy News

California utility delayed repairs on line linked to deadly wildfire

UTILITIES: Shares of California’s largest utility fell after federal filings showed the company delayed repairs of a high-voltage transmission line suspected to have sparked a deadly wildfire last year. (Reuters)

ALSO: The new CEO of Nevada’s largest utility says the company is committed to doubling renewable energy standards this legislative session. (The Nevada Independent)

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SOLAR:
• County officials in the greater Los Angeles area are considering a new policy prohibiting large renewable projects on unincorporated land they govern. (Los Angeles Times)
• An Idaho utility suspends a community solar program due to a lack of participation. (Idaho Press)

POLITICS: A campaign manager for Alaska’s governor says there’s no connection between a contribution solicited from an oil and gas company involved in a dispute with a recently ousted industry watchdog. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A Washington utility launches a $165 million smart meter program aimed at boosting energy efficiency. (Spokesman-Review)

COAL:
• New Mexico’s largest utility has asked the state Supreme Court to delay regulatory proceedings on shutting down one of its coal-fired power plants. (Albuquerque Journal)
• As coal prices continue to decline and more plants shut down, teams from around the world are in Wyoming competing for a $7.5 million prize to be awarded for the best commercial carbon capture technology. (Wyoming Public Media)
• A coal producer owes a Wyoming county $8.6 million in taxes. (Gillette News Record)

OIL & GAS: As Colorado lawmakers prepare to consider a major overhaul of oil and gas regulations, drilling moves closer to Denver’s city limits. (Westword)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada’s largest utility is offering discounted rates to electric vehicle drivers who charge their cars during off-peak hours. (News 4 and Fox 11)

NUCLEAR:
• A panel of scientists are urging a “reset” of the nation’s nuclear waste management policies but say Nevada’s Yucca Mountain should still be considered as a possible storage site. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Utah lawmakers pass a bill supporting cities participating in a project to add nuclear energy to their power mix. (Salt Lake Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• The state of Washington is right to oppose the expansion of a Canadian pipeline project, which offers few benefits while increasing dangers to orcas and the likelihood of an oil spill, says the editorial board of the Columbian.
• A Montana coal-fired power plant is honoring its cleanup obligations and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue to do so, say three Republican state lawmakers. (Billings Gazette)

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