Western Energy News

Colorado county opens ‘one-stop shop’ for drilling

OIL & GAS: In an effort to expedite oil and gas development, a county outside Denver opens Colorado’s first local oil and gas department to process drilling permit applications and regulate well pads. (Denver Post)

• Local officials and business leaders urge California lawmakers not to eliminate the use of natural gas in homes and businesses as part of an effort to reduce emissions. (The Press-Enterprise, NPR)
• The EPA selects a former oil and natural gas industry executive to lead the agency’s Region 6, which includes 66 tribal nations, New Mexico and four other states. (Farmington Daily Times)

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COAL: A federal bankruptcy judge will consider the sale of two idle Wyoming coal mines to Contura Energy for a second day today, which could bring back about 500 jobs. (Star-Tribune)

• An engineering firm employee pleads guilty to discharging more than 1,000 gallons of oil into Oregon’s Willamette River while he was distracted by a cell phone call. (FOX 12)
• Arizona environmental regulators issue an ozone pollution advisory for metro Phoenix today. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: Energy industry representatives and environmentalists are at odds over data on methane emissions from New Mexico’s natural gas industry. (InsideSources) 

• A fuel efficiency deal that four major automakers and California’s clean-air regulator agreed to in July was rejected by the Trump administration months ago. (Bloomberg)
• States like California, Washington and Oregon are considering a “mileage tax,” where drivers would pay a fee based on the number of miles driven, rather than the amount of gas they burn. (Pacific Standard)

BIOFUEL: Finnair says two of its flights from San Francisco to Helsinki this week will be powered by a 12 percent biofuel mix, reducing the total CO2 emissions for the flights by approximately 32 tons. (news release)

• A California utility paid solar customers in four counties more than $2.8 million for surplus electricity generated between May 28, 2018, and April. (Marin Independent Journal)
• A 7 MW hybrid solar-geothermal power plant begins commercial operations in Nevada. (news release)
Six Oregon cities will receive $1.25 million in grants for solar installations for low-income families, older adults, and disabled people. (The Observer)

• Texas, Wyoming and New Mexico led the country in wind farm development during the second quarter of 2019, according to new data from the American Wind Energy Association. (Digital Journal)
• Arizona’s Red Horse 2, one of the first combined wind and solar projects in the United States, receives bat deterrent systems on all 15 of its turbines. (news release)

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NUCLEAR: The Department of Energy is pursuing plans to build a nuclear test reactor in Idaho or Tennessee by the end of 2025, saying the project will help revive the nation’s nuclear power industry. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: NV Energy customers will save an average of $2.12 on their monthly electric bills under a deal approved by Nevada regulators on Monday, which the utility says was possible due to increased efficiency and a reduction in projected renewable energy costs. (Associated Press)

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