Western Energy News

Court upholds repeal of Obama-era fracking restrictions

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal judge on Friday upheld the Trump administration’s repeal of an Obama era rule establishing standards for fracking on public lands. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: Experts say air quality in the Los Angeles area has improved due to decreased combustion of fossil fuels during the coronavirus pandemic and recent rain. (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

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HYDROPOWER: California groups are divided over plans to demolish four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath river’s lower reaches to save salmon, the largest such demolition project in U.S. history. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
Questions are being raised about what’s next legally for PG&E in the wake of the utility pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and unlawfully causing a fire for 2018’s deadly Camp fire. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A Los Angeles-area natural gas plant will shut down by 2023, and open up prime waterfront property in the process. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL: Experts say Wyoming’s coal industry will see little return from the federal stimulus package passed last week. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signs a tax break for the state’s oil and gas industry. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Wyoming agronomists and ranchers are collaborating on reusing water from oil and gas production. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Lea County, New Mexico surpasses a North Dakota county to become the nation’s leading oil producer. (Hobbs News-Sun)
An obscure Wyoming crude oil used in asphalt is seeing negative pricing, with bidding at negative 19 cents a barrel. (Bloomberg)

TECHNOLOGY: Silicon Valley fuel cell company Bloom Energy is repairing 170 broken ventilators sent to Los Angeles from the national stockpile at the request of Gov. Gavin Newsom. (KRON) 

UTILITIES:
Colorado regulators order an expedited pre-hearing conference on the exit charge request of two Tri-State Generation and Transmission members leaving their contracts. (Utility Dive)
Colorado utility Holy Cross Energy reports demand for electricity fell 8% to 10% since ski lifts between Aspen and Vail stopped operating on March 14. (Aspen Journalism)

WIND:
• A Wyoming scientist says the wind industry faces numerous challenges to remain viable in the future. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Officials in a Wyoming county anticipate new transmission connections will help drive more revenue from wind energy. (Rawlins Times)

COMMENTARY:
A California editorial board says “there really is no victory” in PG&E’s deal with Gov. Gavin Newsom, which will allow the state’s largest utility to work its way out of bankruptcy. (Santa Maria Times)
The president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming explains why he believes the state’s oil and natural gas industry will weather the coronavirus crisis. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A former National Park Service state coordinator for Utah says it’s vital that the state’s red rock landscapes be protected from oil and gas leasing. (Salt Lake Tribune)
A Montana environmental advocate details why NorthWestern Energy’s latest “Resource Procurement Plan” is flawed. (Billings Gazette)
Two researchers discuss a carbon capture project that they plan to install at Wyoming’s Integrated Test Center with financial support from their utility partners and the U.S. Department of Energy. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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