Western Energy News

California utility regulators face new criticism for role in wildfires

CALIFORNIA FIRES: California regulators delayed enforcing a 2016 law requiring the state’s three investor-owned utilities to come up with wildfire mitigation plans. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO: A California residential solar installer sees an opportunity to discuss extending microgrids to certain parts of the state as regulators there consider new rules for shutting off power during extreme weather conditions. (Utility Dive)

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OIL & GAS:
• Five environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to try to stop plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Coast. (Associated Press)
• California regulators reject a Texas company’s plan to build a gas peaker plant in Oxnard, California. (Ventura County Star)
• Alaska’s new governor is reviewing a $43 billion liquefied natural gas project, which industry officials hope will be the key to finally reaching Asian markets. (Anchorage Daily News)

CLIMATE: Oregon isn’t meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals as vehicle emissions continue to rise, according to a new state report. (The Oregonian)

UTILITIES:
• A Canadian company has agreed to sell an Arizona gas-fired power plant to a Denver company for $623 million. (Calgary Herald)
• Washington regulators exaggerated potential risks poised by the Ontario government’s ownership in a Canadian company that tried to buy a Washington utility, according to the two companies now trying to salvage the $5.3 billion deal. (The Spokesman-Review)

SOLAR:
• County officials in Yuma, Arizona are considering a developer’s request to build a 250 MW solar farm with 100 MW of storage. (Yuma Sun/Associated Press)
• Xcel Energy selects a Colorado solar installation company to build community projects in the Denver area. (PV Tech)

RENEWABLES: A coalition of students, faculty and community members are pushing the University of New Mexico to adopt a goal of getting all of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. (Albuquerque Journal)

PIPELINES: A Ventura, California couple sues a pipeline company over a 2016 spill, alleging it wasn’t properly cleaned up. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

COAL: Construction of a coal research facility in Wyoming has been delayed by about a year and half due to some challenges with the property. (Wyoming Public Media)

HYDROPOWER: A Bend, Oregon company is pushing a hydrokinetic technology it says is more environmentally friendly that typical hydropower systems. (The Bulletin)

COMMENTARY:
• U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is behind a “shameless land grab” buried in a package of end-of-the-year public lands legislation, says a Georgetown law school professor. (The Hill)
• Adopting California’s rooftop solar mandate for new homes would make Nevada’s affordable housing problem even worse, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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