Western Energy News

California’s largest utility files for bankruptcy

PG&E BANKRUPTCY: Facing billions of dollars in liability claims from recent wildfires, California’s largest electric utility files for bankruptcy protection. (Los Angeles Times)

• California regulators hold an emergency meeting to allow PG&E to quickly tap the credit and loans it’s lined up to fund operations during bankruptcy proceedings. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Just hours away from its scheduled bankruptcy filing, PG&E receives a $4 billion offer from investors interested in keeping the utility afloat. (Bloomberg)

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COAL: A bankrupt Colorado coal company maneuvers to end its supply contract with the owners of Montana coal plant. (Billings Gazette)

• County officials in Seattle approve a six-month moratorium on building or expanding major fossil fuel infrastructure, joining other local governments in the Pacific Northwest that have adopted similar measures. (Seattle Times)
• Santa Barbara, California observes the 50th anniversary of the state’s worst oil spill, an event that sparked the modern environmental movement. (NPR)
• New Mexico’s oil boom could funnel up to $400 million in surplus budget funds for road work. (Albuquerque Journal)

• Two Democratic state senators file legislation to open New Mexico’s electricity markets to competition, a move they say would increase clean energy use in the state. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• A group of Western lawmakers file legislation that would give states more authority over oil and gas development on federal lands, a plan similar to one that failed last year. (Mountain West News Bureau)

UTILITIES: An Oregon utility delays releasing its integrated resource plan by fourth months so it can further study an analysis questioning the economics of its coal fleet. (Utility Dive)

• With a nod to the 50th anniversary of California’s worst oil spill, a local lawmaker files legislation requiring pipeline operators to follow the state’s rules over weaker federal ones. (Huffington Post)
• A proposal aimed at blocking pipeline protests is back before the Wyoming legislature. (Casper Star Tribune)

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EFFICIENCY: Utility crews are swapping out several thousand streetlights in Billings, Montana with energy efficient LEDs. (Billings Gazette)

• A proposed natural gas export facility in Oregon is unlikely to bring any benefits to Colorado but it could lock up more public lands in speculative oil and gas leases, says a local environmentalist and communications consultant. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
• Two lawmakers from New Mexico say a bill they’ve introduced that authorizes community solar programs could be a game changer for the state. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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