Southwest Energy News

Coal company challenged over cleanup bonds

COAL: Federal officials are being asked to determine whether a financially strapped Colorado coal company has sufficient bonds to cover future cleanup work at its mines in the U.S and Canada. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The U.S. solar industry employed twice as many workers as the coal industry in 2017, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)
• An art project launches an unexpected surge of solar energy use in a part of Texas better known for oil. (Wired)
• Colorado’s National Renewable Energy Lab receives a $7 million grant for the development of a “molten salt tower power.” (Patch.com)
• A Colorado town agrees to buy all of its electricity from a nearby solar project under development. (Boulder Daily Camera)

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GRID:
•The grid that serves most of Texas breaks a record for peak demand in May as hot weather grips much of the state. (Platts)
• An Oklahoma utility installs new switches to improve transmission reliability. (Electric Light & Power)

OIL AND GAS:
• Chevron’s recently retired CEO earned 180 times more than the median employee salary last year, just another example of the widening gap between energy executives and workers. (Houston Chronicle)
• Fort Collins is considering joining a lawsuit that would prohibit Colorado regulators from issuing oil and gas permits if human health or the environment is adversely impacted. (The Coloradoan)
• Because of new technology, scientists are discovering hundreds of roads between ancient Pueblo sites across the Southwest, which are now threatened by surging oil and gas development on federal lands. (Science Magazine)

BIOMASS: Austin taxpayers have paid almost $200,000 in fees to attorneys trying to determine whether the city can get out from under a $54 million-a-year biomass contract. (Texas Monitor)

UTILITIES:
• A Houston-area family sues three electric companies over the death of their son who was electrocuted while trying to save his sister’s cat during Hurricane Harvey. (Houston Chronicle)
• An El Paso utility plans to spend $1.3 billion over the next five years to accommodate the city’s growth. (KFOX 14)

COMMENTARY: The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle says Oakland should appeal a judge’s recent ruling that struck down its ban on coal shipments from Utah.

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