Western Energy News

Court: Alaska drilling can resume without new environmental assessment

OIL & GAS: A federal appeals court rules that drilling can resume in a sensitive Alaskan reserve without updating an environmental assessment that was completed four years before oil was discovered in the area. (Courthouse News)

ALSO: Alaska offers an international oil company a six-month break from paying nearly $3 million in rent for its North Slope exploration leases. (Alaska Public Media)

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RENEWABLES:
A recent white paper proposes a path for California to meet its 100% renewable energy goal five years ahead of schedule by 2040. (RenewEconomy)
Missoula, Montana, officials reject Northwestern Energy’s green tariff program, saying it doesn’t add new renewable energy to the grid. (Missoula Current)
U.S. Rep. Don Young calls his southeast Alaska district the ‘potential Saudi Arabia of America’ for renewable energy, especially hydropower. (KSTK)

CLIMATE: California regulators propose having investor-owned utilities incorporate climate change vulnerability assessments into rate cases. (Utility Dive)

BIOMASS: Hawaii regulators reject Hawaii Electric Light’s request to waive competitive bidding for a $350 million biomass project. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

NUCLEAR: Native American and environmental groups continue to oppose a proposed nuclear waste facility in southeast New Mexico. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

OFFSHORE WIND: A California congressman secures offshore wind energy development off southern California’s coast included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. (Santa Barbara Independent)

UTILITIES:
The University of Colorado Boulder supports settlement discussions between the city and Xcel Energy that could culminate in a ballot initiative this fall for voters to consider a franchise agreement with the utility. (CU Boulder Today)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom explains how the state and PG&E are preparing for wildfires as the coronavirus pandemic continues. (KGO-TV)

SOLAR: A developer breaks ground on California’s first low-income community solar project, a nearly 1 MW solar project on the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation. (Solar Power World)

STORAGE: The California Energy Commission awards a $2.9 million grant to a group of tech and clean energy companies to explore the potential of repurposing electric vehicle batteries in microgrids. (news release) 

CARBON: The U.S. Department of Energy awards University of California, Los Angeles researchers $2 million to support development of a process that can convert carbon dioxide emissions into concrete. (UCLA Newsroom)

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PUBLIC LANDS: A conservation group urges senators to schedule confirmation hearings “as quickly as possible” and reject President Trump’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
A former policy advisor to the California Energy Commission discusses proposed revisions to the state’s cap and trade program. (California Globe)
The executive director of a Navajo Nation nonprofit says utilities transitioning from coal must commit to investing in communities. (Arizona Capitol Times)
A New Mexico church leader says the state faces dire consequences for reckless and relentless fossil fuel extraction. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

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