Western Energy News

Clean energy ballot measures fare poorly

ELECTIONS: Voters in several Western states reject ballot measures that would have moved them away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A proposal to create what would have been the nation’s first carbon fee is shot down by voters in Washington in a race that triggered the biggest ballot spending spree in the state’s history. (Seattle Times)
• Nevada voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• In another expensive race, Nevada’s largest utility will retain its monopoly in the state after voters reject a ballot measure to restructure the energy market and open it to competition. (Reno Gazette Journal)
• Colorado voters soundly reject a ballot measure that would have increased drilling setbacks, a move industry officials say would have gutted the state’s lucrative oil and gas sector. (Denver Post)
• Arizona voters overwhelmingly reject a ballot measure that would have required the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. (Arizona Republic)
• Alaska voters strike down an initiative extending new protections to the state’s salmon, an effort hotly opposed by the oil and gas and mining industries. (KTOO)

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LOCAL ELECTIONS:
• Portland voters overwhelmingly approve a tax on large retailers in the city to fund clean energy and efficiency programs. (The Oregonian)
• An initiative to limit new oil and gas production in San Luis Obispo County, California appears to fail, according to unofficial election results. (KQED)
• Voters in Boulder and Lafayette, Colorado pass a levy on oil and gas operations in the city limits even though it’s been a decade since a company filed a permit to drill. (Boulder Daily Camera)

COAL:
• The utility that operates a Wyoming coal-fired power plant may retire two units within 20 years as the company looks toward more clean energy. (Rocket Miner)
• Frequently at odds on environmental regulations, Texas and California both agree that the EPA’s plan to exempt all coal-fired power plants from a federal air pollution permitting program is the wrong move. (Bloomberg)

TRANSPORTATION: If Democrats prevail in a couple of key gubernatorial races in states likes New Mexico, they could defy President Trump by adopting California’s stricter tailpipe emission rules. (E&E)

EFFICIENCY:
• A Utah utility scales back its investment in energy efficiency programs, a move clean energy advocates say will result in more waste, higher utility bills and pollution. (Utility Dive)
• Oregon State University is not on track to meet its goal of being carbon neutral by 2025. (The Daily Barometer)

STORAGE: A German energy storage company is making progress on its plan to equip 2,900 homes in northern Arizona with solar panels and batteries. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: The mayor of a Utah town wants to pull out of a plan to build a small modular nuclear reactor because he believes the endeavor is too financially risky. (The Herald-Journal)

UTILITIES: California’s largest electric utility may be shutting off power to nine counties in the northern part of the state due to increased wildfire risk. (KPIX)

COMMENTARY: The young plaintiffs in the Oregon climate change lawsuit are not gimmicks for public attention, says a Tulane University law professor. (The Hill)

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