Western Energy News

Cause of Bay Area tank farm explosion unknown

OIL & GAS: California inspectors are working to determine the cause of yesterday’s explosions and fire at NuStar Energy’s East Bay oil storage facility that destroyed thousands of gallons of fuel and prompted a hazardous materials emergency. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer says a ballot measure aiming to increase the state’s oil taxes can advance; the “Fair Share Act” would bring in about $1 billion extra in production taxes. (Anchorage Daily News)
A slump in oil prices has brought job creation around the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin to a halt and led to a steady trickle of layoffs. (Reuters)
Southern California Gas Co. is trying to find the source of a “mysterious” ground fire at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. (Associated Press)

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CALIFORNIA:
Bankrupt California Utility PG&E indicated it has $34 billion in debt financing to help exit bankruptcy and pay wildfire victims in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Experts and regulators are beginning to assess California’s blackout failures, saying the lessons learned in the aftermath of last week’s mass power outages are critical because more shutdowns will take place. (Los Angeles Times)
A Northern California community of potentially vulnerable seniors is fed up with PG&E’s failure to replace a power pole that sparked recent fires. (The Mercury News)
California businesses face a future of uncertainty as PG&E says its planned outages will continue. (Fortune)
The senior PG&E executive in charge of its natural gas division when employees mingled with gas customers at a posh Sonoma County winery just before historic power outages were initiated is no longer with the company. (San Francisco) 

COAL:
Montana Gov. Mark Gordon is set to make more budget cuts, and is trying to balance the state’s need to raise revenue with ensuring “the bottom remains intact” for its beleaguered energy industry. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Experts say the impending closure of Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta mine is symbolic of the demise of coal and its toll on workers. (Arizona Central, subscription)
A coal industry expert says there are lessons for Montana’s coal industry to learn from a Washington coal town. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

STORAGE: CAISO says new deliverability methodology will create short-term opportunity for energy storage in California. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE:
The founder of the northern Great Plains’ American Prairie Reserve questions donors investing in the reserve who also steer major investments in the oil, gas, and coal industries. (Wyoming Public Media)
Energy experts say geothermal plants producing battery-grade lithium could be a contributor to California’s battle against climate change. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY:
In the second of a four-part series on the roots of Alaska’s ongoing fiscal problems, a writer explores the state’s unique tax and dividend structure starting in 1980 when taxes and royalties on North Slope oil triggered a “waterfall” of funding. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Wyoming economic diversification advocate says the solar industry is one viable solution for the state’s economic woes. (Jackson Hole News & Guide)
A community wealth organization says California’s unprecedented power outages last week shows private utilities need to be replaced with community-controlled, publicly owned, green energy systems. (The Nation)

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