Western Energy News

California’s electrification movement continues to advance

ELECTRIFICATION: The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t slowed down California’s electrification movement, with local jurisdictions advancing policy through virtual meetings and other tactics. (GreenBiz)

ALSO: Moving away from natural gas will be one of the topics discussed by a new collaboration of states transitioning to 100% clean energy. (E&E News)

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CLIMATE: Oregon environmentalists still aim to have a climate measure calling for 100% carbon-free resources by 2045 on the November ballot thanks to a $1 million loan. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)

CALIFORNIA: Ratepayer advocates are raising concerns about PG&E’s request to recover $800 million from customers on an interim basis to cover wildfire mitigation investments. (Utility Dive) 

GRID: California’s grid operator is increasingly curtailing renewable energy as the demand for solar power lessens due to the coronavirus crisis. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
A Wyoming-based energy investment company that oversees several energy affiliates is requiring employees to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Talk of negative oil prices is increasing because of the coronavirus crisis and increasing market volatility. (E&E News)

FOSSIL FUELS: A Wyoming Congresswoman wants the Interior Secretary to suspend or reduce federal royalty payments for coal, soda ash, oil, gas and other minerals during the coronavirus pandemic. (Gillette News Record)

PUBLIC LANDS: Western land advocates warn that market volatility from plummeting oil prices is a crisis for public land in the form of abandoned wells and their health hazards and taxpayer costs. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• The BLM is delaying a permit for the Gemini solar power project in Nevada, concerned about its impact on a historic region. (Reuters)
• Residential solar developers in California are starting to see a decrease in demand driven by the state’s shelter-in-place order because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
A Colorado senator is urging President Trump to release $900 million to help low-income families pay their utility bills. (Denver Channel)
Montana leaders say demand for a program to help people pay winter energy bills is increasing since the coronavirus outbreak. (KXLH)

TECHNOLOGY: Two University of Wyoming scientists get a provisional patent for a process they invented to reduce flaring at oil well sites. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
A California columnist says Gov. Gavin Newsom’s agreement with PG&E sets a dangerous precedent that could cost electric customers billions of dollars in coming decades. (Napa Valley Register)
A former Colorado regulator explains how politics is influencing public utility oversight. (Utility Dive)
A group of Alaska public interest advocates explain why a new normal can’t be based on the state’s failed extractive economy. (Anchorage Daily News)
Two Colorado clean energy advocates say the state is set to increase clean energy innovation due its goal to provide carbon-free power by mid-century. (Colorado Politics)
Two former California officials say classifying solar panels as “hazardous waste” will create “unnecessary and burdensome costs.” (Capitol Weekly)

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