Western Energy News

Controversial lease auction nets $1.5 million for federal government

OIL AND GAS:
• All of the parcels of land included in a controversial BLM auction in Colorado and Utah were snapped up by energy companies, netting $1.5 million for the federal government. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Meanwhile, environmental groups and tribal leaders protest the auction outside of the BLM’s office in Salt Lake City. (Deseret News)
A Texas energy company plans to build a second natural gas plant in southeastern New Mexico. (Carlsbad Current Argus)
The former head of Houston’s Occidental Petroleum forms a new oil company in a $2.7 billion deal. (Houston Chronicle)

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SOLAR: Houston-based rooftop solar financier Sunnova has entered the solar plus storage market in California. (Greentech Media)

COAL:
• A New Mexico utility is investigating the failure of one of its silos at a coal-fired power plant that resulted in a fire and damage at the facility. (Associated Press)
• 
The same utility says a the financial troubles of a coal company that an affiliate loaned $125 million to will not put ratepayers at risk. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

PIPELINES: A subsidiary of a Houston-based liquefied natural gas company is proposing to build a $3.7 billion pipeline from the Permian basin to a export facility it plans to construct in Louisiana. (Houston Chronicle)

BIOFUELS: No one seems to support Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s one-man crusade against the federal ethanol mandate, not even the oil refiners he’s trying to help. (McClatchy)

UTILITIES: A former NRG executive is appointed the new director of the Texas Public Utilities Commission. (Houston Chronicle)

ELECTRIC CARS: Three out of four U.S. drivers live in areas where it’s cleaner to drive an electric vehicle than a gasoline-powered car that gets 50 mpg — including much of Nevada and Utah — according to a recent analysis. (Greentech Media)

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NUCLEAR: Nevada senators grill Energy Secretary Rick Perry over plans to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• A former Utah coal miner says it’s time to move on from coal. (High Country News)
• Two Democratic lawmakers from Arizona say electric bills will double under a clean energy initiative that, if approved by voters, would require utilities to get half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030 (Arizona Republic)
The leader of a government and business watchdog group in New Mexico says too many solar companies engage in shady business practices and it’s time for the industry to self-police and get rid of the bad actors. (Albuquerque Journal)

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