Western Energy News

Corroded pipe to blame for 2015 Aliso Canyon blowout

NATURAL GAS: A 2015 blowout at a natural gas plant in Los Angeles that led to the largest known release of methane in U.S. history was caused by a corroded pipe, according a report released by California energy officials. (Associated Press)

GRID: Volunteer utility crews from around the country are working to connect more than 60,000 tribal members of the Navajo Nation to the grid, providing electricity to some for the first time. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR:
• A 2016 fire that heavily damaged a Washington reservation has prompted tribal members to invest in solar energy and batteries, a move expected to save $2.8 million over 35 years. (CleanTechnica)
• A California solar panel manufacturer has put its Oregon factory up for sale but will continue operating in a small part of the facility. (Portland Business Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• A Wyoming company has become the first to apply for a permit to reuse oilfield wastewater in New Mexico where a new law is expected to kickstart “produced” water recycling in the state’s prolific oilfields. (Albuquerque Journal)
• A newly appointed interim commission of Colorado oil and gas regulators will spend the next several months implementing a new law overhauling the way the state oversees drilling. (Denver Post)
• Colorado oil and gas industry officials are pushing new research from federal scientists who say past studies overestimated methane emissions from drilling. (Longmont Times-Call)

COAL: Several Western states are among those where market forces are favoring clean energy over coal. (Salon)

POLITICS: A group that supports the fossil fuel industry in New Mexico says emails exchanged between environmentalists and a staffer for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham represent a conflict of interest as the state was drafting a landmark clean energy law. (Associated Press)

WIND: A Hawaii wind company is accusing a county agency of reneging on a power purchase agreement and is seeking payment of more than $1 million. (West Hawaii Today)

GEOTHERMAL: The owner of a Hawaii geothermal plant and the state’s largest utility are discussing a new power purchase agreement as the facility attempts to reopen after last year’s volcanic eruption. (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun says policy makers should listen to a scientist who says New Mexico would make a much better location to permanently store nuclear waste than Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.
• California fire investigators’ recent conclusion that PG&E caused the state’s deadliest wildfire last year bolsters the case for Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers to replace or break up the “felonious” utility, says the editorial board of the Mercury News.
• Arizona utility regulators should approve raising the state’s energy efficiency standard to at least 35 percent by 2030, says the executive director of a local research group. (Arizona Capitol Times)

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