Western Energy News

Coal giant retreats from “uneconomic” Wyoming land leases

COAL: One of Wyoming’s largest coal companies relinquishes thousands of acres of federal leases after deeming coal there “uneconomic.” (Casper Star-Tribune)

WIND: The Department of Defense joins stakeholder talks about a proposed 1,000 MW wind farm off the coast of California, a possible sign the Navy is softening its opposition to such projects. (The San Luis Obispo Tribune)

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SOLAR:
• When a 408-solar panel project is switched on next month in Alaska, it will briefly be the largest solar project in the state. (Anchorage Daily News)
• Some experts blame Tesla for California’s recent solar slowdown, but other factors might be causing the drop in installations. (Forbes)

GRID: Legislation to expand California’s grid dies over lawmakers’ fears about sharing control with coal-dependant states. (San Francisco Chronicle)

UTILITIES:
• California lawmakers pass a bill allowing utilities to pass on the cost of wildfire liabilities to customers, a move critics call an industry “bailout.” (Los Angeles Times)
• A libertarian think tank may appeal Colorado regulators’ decision to let Xcel Energy retire two units at a coal-fired power plant and increase its use of renewable energy. (Pueblo Chieftain)

OIL AND GAS:
• Five major oil and gas companies ask a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by a Washington county alleging they are contributing to climate change. (Associated Press)
• The outcome of a Colorado ballot measure seeking to increase drilling setbacks could have major ramifications for Wyoming oil and gas operations, industry officials say. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Environmentalists want a working group studying reusing wastewater from oil and gas operations in New Mexico to be more transparent. (New Mexico Political Report)
• Oregon regulators recommend denying an exemption sought by developers of a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project. (Willamette Weekly)
• The BLM moves forward with a scaled back oil and gas lease sale for an area near a national park. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

STORAGE: California lawmakers approve a bill providing $800 million in funding for a state energy storage incentive program. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Juneau, Alaska receives a $1.5 million federal grant to help replace its fleet of diesel buses with electric buses over the next decade. (KTOO)
• Western Colorado cities, energy efficiency groups and auto dealerships team up to push electric vehicle sales. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
• Park City, Utah receives a $2.2 million federal grant to help continue its transition of diesel buses to electric buses. (Deseret News)

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NUCLEAR: A federal appeals court sets an October hearing date for Nevada’s legal challenge to a nuclear regulator’s participation in decisions involving Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• The Sangre de Christo mountain range is a sanctuary and deserves to be protected from oil and gas drilling, says the conservation director of the Colorado Mountain Club. (Denver Post)
• A former Colorado congressman says Wyoming should consider adopting more wind energy friendly policies. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• California’s decision to require 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 shows a willingness by the state to lead on an important global issue, an editorial board says. (New York Times)

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