Western Energy News

Colorado power provider turns to feds to set rates

UTILITIES: The board of directors of a Colorado power wholesaler votes to place the company under federal jurisdiction for rate setting, rejecting calls from state lawmakers for a delay. (Denver Post)

ALSO: Arizona regulators refuse to reverse a controversial 2017 rate increase by the state’s largest utility. (Arizona Republic) 

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NUCLEAR:
• Nevada’s governor says the U.S. Department of Energy has again illegally shipped nuclear waste to the state. (Reno Gazette Journal)
• The city council in Idaho Falls votes to keep negotiating to increase the amount of power it plans to get from a small modular nuclear reactor under development at a federal research lab in Idaho. (Post Register)

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES:
• A federal judge in San Francisco orders PG&E to respond to a Wall Street Journal article that reported the California utility knew for years its equipment could cause wildfires and failed to make upgrades. (Time)
• After less than a week of public debate, California lawmakers are on the verge of approving landmark legislation creating a $21 billion fund to cover wildfire costs incurred by the state’s major utilities. (San Francisco Chronicle)

PIPELINES:
• Environmental groups ask a federal judge in Montana to again block the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing President Trump’s decision to issue the project a permit was illegal. (Associated Press)
• County officials in southern Oregon ask federal energy regulators to stop a Canadian company’s plan to build a 229-mile natural gas pipeline through the area. (Medford Mail Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• Two consumer groups urge California’s governor to freeze all new drilling permits after revealing that top state regulators held investments in major oil and gas companies. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
• An Alaska agency overseeing a $43 billion liquefied natural gas project has dramatically cut its staff, a move sources say is not related to massive state budget cuts. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)
• Meanwhile, federal regulators suggest one Alaska town should be the terminus of the LNG project over the objections of another town. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

COAL: A recent ruling by New Mexico regulators raises questions about whether the state’s largest utility will be able to use a financing tool authorized by a new state law to recoup its investment in a coal plant it plans to close. (Farmington Daily Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An electric vehicle test drive event will be held this weekend in Reno. (Reno Gazette Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: County officials in Hilo, Hawaii, advance a proposal to replace the local transit agency’s diesel powered buses with hydrogen buses. (West Hawaii Today)

SOLAR: Alaska’s largest rooftop solar array begins operating in Anchorage. (KTVA)

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WIND: Wyoming regulators approve a construction permit for a 400 MW wind farm. (K2 Radio)

COMMENTARY: A program director at a Colorado environmental group applauds Michael Bloomberg’s decision to offer $500 million to states making efforts to combat climate change. (Colorado Politics)

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