Western Energy News

Colorado company seeks ‘next frontier’ of batteries

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: With the financial backing of several major automakers, a Colorado company is building the nation’s largest solid-state battery factory outside of Boulder. (Colorado Sun)

ALSO: California’s rapid deployment of electric vehicles is one of four national trends to watch in the zero-emission vehicle sector, an analyst says. (Forbes)

• A new air quality plan approved by Utah regulators requires a copper mining and smelting company to convert its coal-fired power plant to natural gas. (Deseret News)
• Critics say an Oregon utility’s review of its coal-fired power plants in six states is incomplete and warrants more study. (Deseret News)

• Solar advocates say California’s recent wildfire outbreak illustrates why clean energy must play an even bigger role in the state’s grid. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A 1,600 panel solar farm goes online in Jackson, Wyoming, marking the city’s largest venture into community solar. (Jackson Hole News & Guide)

• Pointing to his clean energy accomplishments in Washington, Governor Jay Inslee is running for president and will carry a campaign built around action on climate change. (The Atlantic)
• Dubbed the “ultimate D.C. swamp creature” by environmentalists, Colorado native and former fossil fuels lobbyist David Bernhardt prepares to take over the Interior Department as the acting secretary. (Huffington Post)
• Energy issues move to the forefront of political debate in several Western states, many of which saw an influx of Democrats who want to increase their state’s clean energy mix. (E&E News)

CALIFORNIA FIRES: California’s largest utility is building a legal case that suggests a private landowner was responsible for one of the deadly wildfires of 2017. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

• After a resounding defeat at the ballot box in November, anti-drilling advocates are regrouping in Colorado and are preparing to take new demands to governor-elect Jared Polis. (Denver Post)
• Oregon regulators will hold a series of meetings this month on a Canadian company’s application for a permit to dredge local waterways to build a liquefied natural gas processing facility. (Jefferson Public Radio)

PUBLIC LANDS: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska pledges to move a sweeping public lands bill through the Senate after getting derailed last month by a senator from Utah. (Alaska Public Media)

UTILITIES: Two more Las Vegas casinos request permission to leave Nevada’s largest utility, raising questions about the state’s energy future. (The Nevada Independent)

COMMENTARY: California lawmakers should attempt to reform the state’s largest utility, not throw it another legislative lifeline, says the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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