Western Energy News

Court strikes down Obama-era methane emissions rule

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal court strikes down an Obama-era rule aiming to cut methane emissions on public lands, saying the Bureau of Land Management did not have the authority to issue it. (Bloomberg Law)

ALSO: William Perry Pendley says he is disregarding a court ruling that he has been serving illegally as head of the Bureau of Land Management: “I’m still here, I’m still running the bureau.” (The Hill)

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UTILITIES:
• The CEO of a Colorado co-op seeking to end its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission says its offer to cut rates and allow customers to generate more power isn’t enough to prevent it from leaving. (Utility Dive)
A Boulder, Colorado ballot measure aims to extend the city’s utility occupation tax and use it to pay for the costs associated with forming a municipal electric utility. (Daily Camera)

SOLAR: Two solar groups are challenging a FERC ruling that disqualified a Montana solar facility from receiving payments under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. (Utility Dive) 

CALIFORNIA:
A new data analysis finds that California lost 14.9% of its clean energy workforce during the economic downturn, the largest such loss of any state. (S&P Global)
Shifting social media data center processing loads to match California’s wind and solar supply could be a solution to the state’s problems balancing energy supply and demand. (Utility Dive)
A recently-signed California bill significantly expands the state’s definition of renewable natural gas. (Biomass Magazine)
A Central California city’s $70 million microgrid project could be a new statewide model for reliable and clean energy. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An official with Arizona electric truck startup Nikola says the troubled company is working on a research project with the US Energy Department and has filed patents for a number of innovations. (Financial Times)

COAL: New data indicates Wyoming and Montana coal production increased week on week through the year so far in the week ended October 3. (S&P Global)

HYDROGEN:
• Eugene, Oregon’s utility announces a public-private partnership that it says could lead to one of the largest renewable hydrogen facilities in North America. (KVAL)
• A New Mexico gas utility is partnering with an energy solutions company to explore expanding the use of hydrogen in the state. (H2 View)

OIL & GAS:
A federal lawsuit alleges a Wyoming oil and gas operator has not made royalty payments on time to those owed them, as well as the accompanying interest for failing to meet those deadlines. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)
Environmentalists say it may cost California as much as $1 billion to plug a bankrupt oil producer’s wells. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A former Idaho journalist says the combination of less expensive, cleaner energy sources amounts to a perfect storm of replacements for coal, citing broken promises made to ex-Navajo Generating Station employees. (Idaho State Journal)

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