Western Energy News

Can Xcel Energy go carbon-free?

CLEAN ENERGY: Xcel Energy’s ambitious clean energy goal can be largely accomplished through existing technology, according to experts and a new report released by the utility. (Energy News Network)

COAL:
• The Navajo and Hopi tribes brace for the economic impact of an Arizona coal plant closure. (Huffington Post)
• A Montana bill puts the customers of a South Dakota-based utility on the hook for the  future costs of a struggling coal-fired power plant whether it retires or not. (Greentech Media)
• As the market for coal continues to decline, a spate of bills before Western lawmakers seek to throw the industry a lifeline. (Utility Dive)
• In Wyoming, researchers race to develop economically viable carbon capture techniques. (WBUR)

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UTILITIES:
• Environmentalists tell California regulators that splitting up the state’s largest utility into two companies might make the delivery of energy safer but it also might thwart ambitious renewable energy goals. (Utility Dive)
• California’s Supreme Court hears arguments in a case seeking to hold a utility liable for the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. (Courthouse News)

SOLAR:
• Farmland advocates in Oregon raise concerns about legislation that would fast-track solar approvals. (Capital Press)
• Colorado’s first solar co-op is launched. (Fort Collins Coloradoan)

CLIMATE: Republican U.S. Senators from Colorado, Alaska and Utah are among a small group of conservative lawmakers trying to come up with a strategy on climate change. (Fortune)

POLITICS:
• Arizona’s attorney general says 28 public officials broke the law by advocating against a clean energy measure that was ultimately rejected by voters. (Arizona Republic)
• An Oregon polluter spent $20,000 in campaign contributions last year to get favorable treatment under proposed cap and trade legislation. (Salem Reporter)

GRID:
• Why the European practice of burying power lines doesn’t necessarily translate to California. (Bloomberg)
• A California utility drops plans to build a transmission line over Sacramento Valley farmland. (Daily Democrat)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla’s Model 3 accounted for more than half of electric vehicle sales in California in 2018. (Mercury News)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado legislators hold their first hearing on a bill that would give local governments more control over oil and gas oversight. (The Denver Channel)
• Federal regulators approve two carbon dioxide pipelines for enhanced oil recovery in Wyoming. (Kallanish Energy)

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HYDROPOWER: A California utility withdraws its request to relicense a 9.4 MW dam that dates to the 1920s. (Energy Policy Update)

COMMENTARY:
• Legislation that supports New Mexico’s coal communities while boosting clean energy “will transform energy” in the state and deserves support, says the governor. (New Mexico Political Report)
• An eastern Oregon official supports action on climate change, but says state policy must balance benefits across the whole state. (Dalles Chronicle)
• A Montana utility executive praises a bill that would extend the life of the Colstrip power plant. (Billings Gazette)

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