Western Energy News

Coal company contractor desecrated sacred Native American ground

COAL: Crow Nation members say a coal company contractor working under federal oversight in Montana desecrated one of the largest known Native American bison killing grounds to make way for a coal mine. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
The owners of the Navajo Generating Station confirm it will shut down this week after burning through its remaining coal supply. (Cronkite News)
A plan to pair Montana’s Hardin Generating Station with a Bitcoin mine appears to have stalled, with no construction done on slated data-server warehouses. (Billings Gazette)

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CALIFORNIA:
California’s utility regulator is expected to launch an investigation into PG&E’s planned public safety power outages this week. (Times-Standard)
An idea to turn PG&E into a co-op has widespread support from mayors, but the utility and a state lawmaker are concerned about rural Californians being left behind. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A bankruptcy law expert warns that customers being solely responsible for the cost of disasters might not be a good idea. (Mercury News)
A new analysis indicates taking ownership of PG&E’s planned blackouts and wildfire problems could bring political risks for California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Wall Street Journal)
PG&E’s planned power shutoffs knocked out landline telephone service last month, leaving residents across California unable to make or receive calls. (Press Democrat)
Calistoga, California, homeowners say PG&E is slow to remove trees the utility deemed dangerous in the area. (KGO-TV)

OIL & GAS:
Alaskans are calling for greater financial transparency from Hilcorp, the company buying BP’s North Slope assets, as the company seeks to keep its records closed. (Anchorage Daily News)
The future of Colorado’s oil and gas industry is uncertain as Wall Street demands shale producers operate more efficiently as an expected industry slowdown takes hold six months after the passage of drilling reforms. (Denver Post, Denver Business Journal/subscription)
• Permian Basin oil and gas companies are increasingly relying on wind and solar power in a bid to ensure that the shale boom continues. (Reuters)
A wildcatter billionaire is not ceding control of the Permian Basin to major oil companies without a fight. (Houston Chronicle)
• Officials break ground on the Criollo Lodge man camp in Jal, New Mexico, which will make up to 558 beds available to oil field workers and executives. (Hobbs News-Sun)

SOLAR: California-based solar company SunPower announced it is splitting into two publicly traded companies, separating solar panel manufacturing from storage and energy services. (Reuters)

WIND: The developer of Hawaii’s Kahuku wind farm project says it is on schedule to deliver all wind turbine parts; meanwhile more protestors opposing the project were arrested for disobeying police. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

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PUBLIC LANDS:
The Bureau of Land Management withdraws more than 500 square miles of sensitive sage-grouse habitats from a swathe of eastern Nevada public land scheduled for oil and gas drilling leases auction tomorrow after a judge blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to ease protection. (Associated Press)
• The Bureau of Land Management is considering bringing more people to its new headquarters in Western Colorado than originally announced; acting director William Perry Pendley says he is willing to relocate but would first need to be appointed director. (Grand Junction Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: A Napa Valley, California columnist says it’s time to make PG&E a public utility and fundamentally rethink how critical infrastructure like the energy grid is managed. (Sonoma Valley Sun)

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