Western Energy News

Colorado regulators leaning towards tougher drilling setbacks

OIL & GAS: The majority of Colorado oil and gas regulators voice support for 2,000-foot setbacks between fracking sites and schools and homes. (Denver Post)

ALSO: A proposal to increase drilling near Chaco Canyon in New Mexico is part of a recently revealed list of projects “expedited” by the Interior Department, but it’s still not clear what that will mean. (New Mexico Political Report)

***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.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An investment firm calls Arizona electric truck startup Nikola an “intricate fraud,” claiming the company hasn’t produced an operational vehicle and that a prototype was simply rolled down a hill for a promotional video. (Arizona Republic)

CLIMATE:
A federal advisory panel warns that large-scale Western wildfires could trigger a national financial crisis. (Reuters)
Tucson, Arizona’s city council declared a climate emergency at a meeting earlier this week. (KOLD)
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock releases a climate plan that contains recommendations ranging from energy efficiency to “innovation clusters.” (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

CALIFORNIA: PG&E finds 52 instances of weather-related damage and hazards during transmission line inspections in Northern California power shutoff areas that could have sparked wildfires. (Plumas News)

SOLAR:
• California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a bill aimed at fixing an error in a November ballot measure that would mistakenly end an existing property tax exclusion for newly constructed solar systems. (Bloomberg Tax, subscription)
• A California-based solar developer signs a 15-year power purchase agreement for its planned 400 MW solar and 180 MW/540 MWh energy storage project. (PV Magazine)
• A 200 MW Colorado solar project advances to the final stage of the state regulator’s approval process. (Pueblo Chieftain)

COAL: The operator of a Powder River Basin coal mine confirms 73 miners are to be furloughed for a second time due to adverse market conditions. (Casper Star Tribune)  

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators refused to reopen the licensing process record of a proposed New Mexico nuclear waste facility to a Permian Basin oil and gas company opposing it. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

UTILITIES: Colorado utilities begin issuing shutoff notices now that a statewide eviction moratorium has expired. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
Two Western electrification experts explore how aggressively electrifying buildings would help California with decreasing emissions and combating climate change. (Rocky Mountain Institute)
Two analysts say the Bureau of Land Management is behind in responding to the transition to renewables in the national energy economy. (The Hill)
A climate and clean energy expert explores how California is responding to its recent electric grid reliability challenges. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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