Western Energy News

Community choice boosting clean energy in California

RENEWABLES: Community choice aggregators in California are helping the state meet its clean energy goals by delivering renewable energy cheaper and faster than utilities can, a new report shows. (Forbes)

HYDROPOWER: The BLM approves a $2.5 billion hydropower plant outside California’s Joshua Tree National Park, a project critics worry could drain the desert aquifer and harm local wildlife. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

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SOLAR:
• As the debate over the future of an Arizona coal plant rages, some members of the Navajo Nation are getting electricity for the first time as a result of the expansion of solar energy on tribal lands. (PBS News Hour)
• Hawaiian regulators approve the first grid-scale solar plus storage project for the island of Molokai. (KHON)
• The construction of a new 9.8 MW solar farm has been completed in western New Mexico. (Power Engineering)

CLIMATE: Alaska’s draft climate change plan suggests the state consider a carbon tax, an idea that has already drawn a swift rebuke from the oil and gas industry. (KTOO)

PUBLIC LANDS: An award-winning chef and her business partner are leading the fight against the Trump administration’s plan to shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. (NPR)

OIL AND GAS:
• The Oregon Supreme Court upholds Portland’s authority to restrict new oil and gas infrastructure. (ThinkProgress)
• Residents of an Alaskan village in the midst of the state’s most prolific oil region worry about their health as drilling ramps up. (InsideClimate News/San Francisco Chronicle)
• Conservation groups are asking the BLM to reject oil and gas lease bids on public lands in south central Wyoming, citing potential impacts to historic trails and wildlife. (WyoFile)

COAL:
• Colorado regulators convene hearings on Xcel Energy’s plan to decommission two units of a coal-fired power plant and replace them with clean energy. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• The excavation of coal ash ponds at a Montana plant could produce local jobs, according to a new report from a local union and a Billings-based advocacy group. (Billings Gazette)
• Three Republican senators from coal states are sponsoring a bill that would speed up the permitting process of a proposed coal terminal in Washington state. (KTVQ)

POLITICS:
• California’s largest utility spent $1.7 million over three months this year to lobby state lawmakers to reduce its liability for last year’s deadly wildfires. (Sacramento Bee)
• An anti-fracking candidate for Colorado governor has so far not been the target of oil industry opposition, and analysts say it’s because he can afford to fight back. (E&E News)
• A judge rules that Arizona residents shouldn’t be blocked from voting on a clean energy ballot measure because its supporters didn’t correctly identify the initiative’s sponsor. (Arizona Daily Star)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Honda is offering the California drivers of its Fit electric vehicle a new service to help them find the most environmentally friendly charging times. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico’s attorney general says the state has little legal recourse should it oppose a company’s plan to temporarily store nuclear waste there. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

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