Western Energy News

Court rejects Trump effort to delay enforcement of methane rules

OIL AND GAS: A federal court says that the Trump administration’s suspension of methane regulations is “untethered to evidence,” and orders the BLM to enforce the rules. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Legislation passed last year in Texas banning drones from animal feedlots and oil and gas facilities is really aimed at thwarting “bad journalists,” not terrorists, an energy industry lobbyist recently disclosed. (Texas Observer)
• A treasure trove of fossils has been discovered in an area of a former Utah monument the Trump administration recently opened for energy development. (Washington Post)
• An Oklahoma City-based energy company posts a $334 million profit for the fourth quarter, sparking a stock trading frenzy. (The Oklahoman)

SOLAR: A Tempe-based solar panel manufacturer exempt from recently imposed tariffs reports sales have increased since December beyond initial projections. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Oil companies are beginning to recognize the threat that widespread adoption of electric vehicles poses to their business. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL: The federal government asks a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges environmental laws were broken when a New Mexico coal-fired power plant and mine were granted a 25-year operating extension. (Farmington Daily Times)

SOLAR:
• Tesla’s anti-trust case against an Arizona utility heats up in federal court as cities, environmental groups and businesses file a flurry of motions that could determine its future. (Greentech Media)
• A Florida electricity wholesaler sues the U.S. Treasury, saying it improperly withheld a $289 million subsidy for a solar power plant it built in Nevada. (Reuters)
• U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich promotes a plan to expand solar energy in New Mexico. (Albuquerque Business First)

UTILITIES:
• Customers of Arizona’s largest utility will see an average $5.40 drop in their bills as a result of recent federal tax cuts. (Arizona Republic)

RESEARCH: An Arizona State University engineer is working to make microgrids more economically viable. (ASU Now)

EFFICIENCY: A Colorado non-profit is traveling to Washington D.C. to lobby for for the preservation of low-income energy assistance grants, which have recently been targeted by the Trump administration. (The Denver Channel)

COMMENTARY:
• A Navajo community activist says it’s time for the tribe to abandon coal and fully embrace renewable energy. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• A conservative commentator says an Arizona clean energy ballot initiative backed by billionaire Tom Steyer will only result in increased electricity prices. (Arizona Republic)
• A Houston Chronicle business columnist says all options are needed to persuade oil companies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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