Western Energy News

Court ruling puts Colorado oil fields under tougher smog rules

OIL & GAS: An oil producing area in northern Colorado will have to comply with EPA smog rules for the Denver metro area after a federal court ruling last week. (Greeley Tribune)

ALSO: Concerns are increasing that oil and gas company bankruptcies will result in abandoned wells leaking pollutants and cleanup costs left to taxpayers. (New York Times)

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COAL:
• Powder River Basin coal companies hoping to export to Asia are now doubtful in the wake of Japan’s announcement it is considering phasing out 100 of its older coal-fired power plant units by 2030. (Casper-Star Tribune)
• New Mexico regulators continue to face difficult decisions in choosing the right mix of resources to replace the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Experts agree that local residents are the ones with knowledge and the expertise to best guide communities long dependent on coal. (Uinta County Herald)

PUBLIC LANDS:
The BLM is being sued by Native and environmental groups alleging the agency failed to consider the environmental impacts of oil and gas leases sold near the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. (E&E News, subscription)
An analysis finds the BLM’s inventory of orphaned wells in New Mexico is inaccurate. (New Mexico Political Report)

UTILITIES: A management audit of Hawaiian Electric reveals weaknesses in business and operational practices that regulators, utility leaders, and stakeholders can address. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: A geologist finds water is moving through Nevada’s Yucca Mountain faster than previously thought, raising more concerns about the proposed plan to build a national nuclear waste repository there. (KUNR)

EQUITY: New Mexico activists say racial and climate justice must go hand in hand. (Santa Fe New Mexican, subscription)

HYDROGEN: Experts say hydrogen may be better for microgrids than batteries because it can be stored at high densities while leaving a low-carbon footprint. (Forbes)

TRANSMISSION: The Bonneville Power Administration could withdraw from a proposed $1.2 billion transmission project. (La Grande Observer) 

SOLAR: A Southern California community choice aggregator approves a 60 MW solar plus 152-MWh storage project set to come online December 2022. (Solar Power World)

EFFICIENCY: Wyoming’s new energy agency is set to distribute federal grants to improve energy efficiency in buildings statewide; applications are due by August 28. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An Oregon city will see a $300,000 windfall from clean energy credits from a large number of electric vehicle registrations. (Ashland Tidings)

COMMENTARY:
A former California lawmaker says utility regulators and PG&E need to take the lead in the state’s efforts to fight climate change. (Sacramento Bee)
The former director of Arizona’s Energy Office and Interwest Energy Alliance’s policy manager both say the state would benefit from stronger clean energy standards. (Arizona Mirror, Phoenix Business Journal)
Two California Municipal Utilities Association officials say affordable utility rates will be an important part of the state’s economic recovery. (Cal Matters)

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