Western Energy News

Climate bill heads to Colorado governor to sign

CLIMATE: A bill seeking to dramatically curb Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions is headed to Gov. Jared Polis to sign, despite strong opposition from the oil and gas industry. (The Colorado Independent)

ALSO: The Colorado coal industry predicts the legislation will deliver a “crushing blow” to its future in the state. (Denver Business Journal)

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HYDROPOWER: Nevada’s new renewable portfolio standard includes a change to the legal definition of hydropower, allowing utilities to count it toward the state’s clean energy standard. (The Nevada Independent)

GRID:
• Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy say a cyberattack interrupted electrical systems in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City in March, though power was never lost. (CNBC)
• A $35 million project to improve Roswell, New Mexico’s power grid is almost complete, Xcel Energy officials announce. (KRQE)

UTILITIES:
• The SEC is investigating PG&E’s accounting for its losses related to three years of wildfires, the utility tells shareholders. (New York Times)
• Meanwhile, net income for the utility dropped 69% for the first quarter of the year compared to last year as wildfire liabilities and bankruptcy take a financial toll. (San Francisco Chronicle)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Department of Energy accuses Nevada of showing “remarkable” disregard for national security in its continued legal fight to remove weapons-grade plutonium that was secretly shipped to the state. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• Montana regulators question the cost effectiveness of a utility’s plan to close a coal plant. (Billings Gazette)
• Flooding in the Midwest was responsible for decreasing coal shipments from Wyoming by 22 percent the first quarter, one producer tells investors. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado regulators delay a hearing on a company’s plan to drill 140 wells in order to determine whether it satisfies the requirements of a new state law overhauling oil and gas regulation. (Longmont Times-Call)
• Oil and gas production on federal lands broke a record last year, U.S. Interior Department officials announce. (Casper Star-Tribune)

SOLAR:
• A California-based former solar lender announces $208 million in debt financing for its residential solar assets. (Greentech Media)
• Montana’s largest utility will purchase power from a 20 MW solar farm under development near Billings. (KTVQ)

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EFFICIENCY: The Children’s Museum of Montana in Great Falls plans to build a new net-zero building. (ABC Fox Montana)

COMMENTARY:
• A slate of bills passed by Washington lawmakers will help the state transition to a clean energy economy while protecting working families, people of color and low-income residents, say the leaders of a local coalition of labor, social justice and environmental groups. (Seattle Times)
• Deploying advanced technology is one way California can “leapfrog into the future and make sure the deadly wildfires are not a macabre new normal,” says a safety official for the California Public Utilities Commission. (Utility Dive)

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