Western Energy News

Company involved in deadly rig explosion has history of workplace fatalities

OIL AND GAS:
• The Houston drilling company involved in this week’s deadly rig explosion in Oklahoma has a long history of workplace fatalities and safety violations. (Associated Press)
• The head of New Mexico’s oil and gas industry group says he’s staying put, shooting down reports the Trump administration was looking to appoint him to run the EPA in California. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper releases a plan to boost the state’s electric vehicle market by building out charging infrastructure, improving signage and forming new partnerships to spur investment. (Denver Post)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• California sues the Trump Administration over its repeal of a rule that restricts fracking on public lands, a move that could have major consequences for energy development in Western states. (Washington Post)
• Meanwhile, veterans are telling the president to back off a plan to shrink the size of national monuments in Arizona, Nevada and other Western states in a move to aid oil and gas development. (Public News Service)

SOLAR:
• Taking a unique route to market, a Utah company will sell its solar products in 400 Sam’s Club stores across the country. (Daily Herald)
• A proposed housing complex that will serve hundreds of homeless people in a Denver suburb will be powered by solar energy. (Denverite)
• Rooftop solar sales are expected to withstand the Trump administration’s recently announced tariffs, but the move will likely hurt emerging markets in Texas and the Southwest, industry officials predict. (Inside Climate News)

WIND: An Oklahoma wind farm is powering Budweiser’s shift to renewable energy, a source of pride for the company that will now be symbolized on a label to be added to bottles and cans this spring. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy completes work on a $24 million transmission line project in New Mexico that it anticipates will boost the capacity and reliability of the system that powers the city of Roswell. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: A San Antonio company seeks to expand its pipeline infrastructure in Texas’s Permian Basin, citing the need to increase capacity within the system. (San Antonio Express-News)

COMMENTARY:
• A proposal to give Colorado cities the authority to regulate oil and gas development would be a job killer, writes the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette.
• The Albuquerque Journal editorial board argues that legislation that seeks to allow New Mexico’s largest power provider to recover its investment in a controversial coal-fired power plant merits a debate by state lawmakers.
• A member of a Fort Collins sustainability group says a study by a northern Colorado power provider is a step in the right direction toward meeting the community’s goal of getting all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 but much more is needed. (Coloradoan)

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