Western Energy News

Colorado considers new environmental justice rules for drilling

EQUITY: Colorado’s main oil and gas regulator would scrutinize well projects more closely when proposed near “disproportionately impacted communities” under a new environmental justice rule. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

ALSO:
Thousands of Arizona ratepayers are struggling to pay their electric bills due to record heat, unemployment, benefits cuts, and the coronavirus pandemic. (Arizona Public Media)
Advocates in Arizona say policies that protect vulnerable people are a key first step in climate resiliency. (High Country News)

***SPONSORED LINK: National Clean Energy Week Policy Makers Symposium is September 21-25. Register to hear from members of Congress and leading clean energy innovators. Register today at https://nationalcleanenergyweek.org.***

CALIFORNIA:
An audit by California regulators finds that PG&E’s distribution power lines spark two and half times more fires per mile compared to other utilities. (NBC Bay Area)
PG&E launches an investigation into a former employee’s fraud of more than $1.4 million dollars in kickbacks from a sheme with a family member over eight years. (San Francisco Chronicle)

POLITICS: A carbon-pricing proposal has become a point of contention in the U.S. Senate race between Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and incumbent Steve Daines. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

GRID: Pacific Northwest leaders agree that a greater emphasis on regional planning and cooperation is needed if the Western grid is to increasingly rely on wind and solar energy. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators issue a safety report supporting the design of a planned small modular reactor plant at Idaho National Laboratory. (Deseret News)

PIPELINES: A federal judge rules in favor of a Permian Basin natural gas pipeline, saying opponents failed to demonstrate adequate future impacts. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

PUBLIC LANDS:
The U.S. Forest Service proposes a new oil and gas rule that eliminates references to environmental laws and defers final oil leasing decisions to the Interior Department. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
The Bureau of Land Management proposes a California oil and gas lease sale, the first in the state since 2012. (EcoWatch) 

OVERSIGHT: California’s utility regulator dismisses its executive director in a 5-0 vote for allegedly violating hiring policies. (San Diego Union Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: A new study finds large states with small populations such as Alaska and Wyoming use twice as much energy per capita for transportation than the national average. (Oil & Gas 360)

COMMENTARY:
An energy markets expert says California regulators need to more closely monitor demand peaks and take action before power outages become a normal part of the state’s summers. (Energy Institute at Haas)
Two environmental advocates says a Trump administration rule making oil and gas drilling in national forests easier is yet another irresponsible federal land management choice. (National Resources Defense Council)
Two energy researchers say California’s electricity supply issues highlight a need for an electric reliability insurance market. (Utility Dive)

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