Western Energy News

Controversial natural gas terminal moves closer to approval

OIL AND GAS: A Tacoma, Washington, liquefied natural gas facility is close to final approval, to the disappointment of critics, including the Puyallup Tribe. (The News Tribune, Indian Country Today)

ALSO: An oil boom in southeastern New Mexico has caused the population of a small town to more than double in less than a decade. (KOAT)

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SOLAR:
• The Interior Department has begun taking comments on and facing criticism for Nevada’s proposed Gemini Solar Project near Las Vegas; if approved it would be the largest solar facility in the country. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Now)
• An eastern Washington high school is installing a solar array with help from a $100,000 utility grant. (My Columbia Basin)

UTILITIES:
• Pacific Gas & Electric is installing weather stations and cameras to monitor wildfire conditions. (Press Democrat)
• A Hawaii utility has restored power after a cable failure prompted rolling blackouts earlier this week. (Associated Press)

COAL: New Mexico environmental advocates want the state’s regulator to commit to upholding the state’s new energy law when reviewing stipulations for closing a coal-fired power station. (Albuquerque Journal)

NUCLEAR:
• Developers of a small modular nuclear reactor planned in Idaho say federal regulators have completed two phases of design review, keeping the project on track to open in the mid-2020s. (Utility Dive)
• Non-essential employees have been evacuated from the Idaho National Laboratory because of an encroaching wildfire. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Around 21,000 San Diego electrical vehicle drivers will receive $850 in credit on their gas and electric bills this year as part of a California program encouraging drivers to buy electric cars. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
A new Tesla supercharging station opens on the Las Vegas Strip. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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CLEAN ENERGY: The Department of Energy has announced more than $16 million in funding for tribal energy infrastructure including projects in Arizona, Montana, California, and Alaska. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
An executive of a utility serving Montana says “electricity from coal is necessary to keep the lights on” when the wind isn’t blowing. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
The collapse of coal operators including Wyoming’s Blackjewel should serve as a wake-up call to utilities dependent on coal-fired generation says a think tank. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• An economics think tank explores the possibility that Alaska could be benefiting from existing oil sanctions. (King Economics Group)

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