Western Energy News

Class-action lawsuit filed against bankrupt coal company

COAL: A former Blackjewel employee files a class-action lawsuit against the bankrupt coal company for failing to notify or pay hundreds of workers before suddenly closing mines in Wyoming and elsewhere. (Casper Star Tribune)

ALSO: Federal land managers schedule public hearings on a plan to expand a Colorado coal mine by more than 2,400 acres and draw criticism from environmentalists for the location of the meetings. (Durango Herald)

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UTILITIES: Amendments to a bill making its way through the California legislature could complicate San Francisco’s efforts to buy a bankrupt utility’s local assets. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE:
• California will receive $2.7 billion in cap-and-trade funds to inject into the state budget to fund everything from a bullet train to housing near mass transit centers. (E&E News, subscription)
• Led by Salt Lake City’s Jackie Biskupski, hundreds of mayors from across the U.S. called on Congress to pass legislation establishing a price on carbon. (InsideClimate News)

OIL & GAS:
• Oregon offers a scathing critique of federal energy regulators’ environmental analysis of a proposed liquefied natural gas project, finding gaps and errors in the work supporting the export facility and pipeline. (The Oregonian)
• Wyoming oil and gas regulators vote to advance a new rule aimed at easing the drilling permit backlog. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Colorado environmental regulators consider requiring oil and gas companies to routinely measure and report methane emissions. (The Colorado Independent)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla plans to increase electric vehicle production at its Fremont, California, plant, according to an email to employees. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR: Both sides in a contentious debate over nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain side point to recent California earthquakes to underscore opposing views on the site’s safety. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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SOLAR: One of Colorado’s first solar co-ops has 80 members its first year and expects to see that number increase in coming months. (The Coloradoan)

COMMENTARY:
• Citing the sudden closure of two Wyoming coal mines, David Roberts calls extraction industries “largely a scam through which wealthy people remove value from a region and leave behind social and environmental ruin” (Vox)
• An editorial board urges California lawmakers not to rush approval of a bill changing the way the state’s utilities cover wildfire expenses “or Californians could get burned.” (Los Angeles Times)
• A columnist says utility regulators should roll back a 2017 rate hike by the state’s largest utility and come up with a plan that’s “just and reasonable.” (Arizona Republic)

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