Western Energy News

Can a New Mexico city save a doomed coal plant?

COAL: City officials in Farmington, New Mexico say they’ve reached an agreement with an investor to extend the life of a local coal-fired power plant but the news is a surprise to the facility’s majority owner. (Utility Dive)

ALSO: County commissioners in southwestern Colorado tell federal land managers they want a complete study of how a coal mine expansion might impact local water supplies before the project is approved. (Durango Herald)

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UTILITIES:
• An Arizona regulator plans to issue a subpoena to find out if the state’s largest utility was the source of $3.2 million in “dark money” used by political groups in 2014 to elect Republicans to the commission overseeing utilities. (Arizona Republic)
• County leaders in San Diego vote to develop a community choice energy program. (CBS 8 San Diego)

OIL & GAS:
• A coalition of environmental groups plan to sue federal land managers over their approval of an oil shale project in eastern Utah. (Associated Press)
• Alaska’s governor fires the chairman of the state’s oil and gas watchdog agency, citing a litany of offenses allegedly committed by the former Democratic state senator. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)
• A California oil company is threatening to sue the EPA over its delay in considering its biofuel waiver application. (Reuters)

GRID: The University of Hawaii and its partners unveil a project linking solar, storage, electric vehicles and other grid technologies on campus. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A bill extending tax credits for electric vehicles in Colorado through 2021 is working its way through the statehouse. (Denver Post)

WIND: Citing the pending closure of a California nuclear plant, a Republican state lawmaker urges the federal government to approve two offshore wind projects. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

POLITICS: California Democrats will likely play a key role in shaping energy and environmental issues after snagging key leadership positions in the U.S. House. (E&E News)

PIPELINES: Two pipeline projects to carry bottlenecked oil and gas from the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas to the Gulf Coast for export have cleared a major regulatory hurdle. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

EFFICIENCY: Officials with the newly expanded Las Vegas convention center say a sustainability plan will be in place for the 1.4 million square-foot project by June. (Las Vegas Sun)

COMMENTARY: New Mexico lawmakers should support a proposed constitutional amendment calling for utility regulators to be appointed, not elected, says the editorial board of the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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