Western Energy News

Crab industry sues Big Oil over climate impacts

CLIMATE: A coalition of West Coast commercial crab fishermen sues 30 oil and gas companies over damage to the industry caused by climate change. (InsideClimate News)

POLITICS:
• Democratic lawmakers in Nevada plan on introducing legislation to increase the state’s renewable energy standards rather than waiting until voters decide on a constitutional amendment in 2020. (Las Vegas Sun)
• Now that an Arizona clean energy initiative has been shot down, clean energy advocates question whether the state’s largest utility will make good on its promise to use more solar, wind and storage. (Utility Dive)

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REGULATION:
• For the first time in its 100-year history, the Nevada agency that regulates utilities is made up entirely of women. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• The powerful agency that oversees oil and gas development in New Mexico is hiring under a new boss who hopes to position the state as a leader in renewable energy. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: New biomass and solar energy projects offer new economic hope for a struggling rural community in southern Oregon. (Oregon Business)

UTILITIES:
• California’s largest utility maxes out its revolving credit for $3 billion as it once again faces questions about its liability for wildfire damages. (Greentech Media)
• A California court rules against a San Diego utility’s attempt to recover $379 million from customers for costs related to a 2007 wildfire. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

COAL:
• Coal production increased in Montana since the beginning of the year even though several of the largest coal companies are struggling to survive. (Billings Gazette)
• The company behind a proposed coal terminal in Washington lays off about 15 percent of its workforce. (The Daily News)

OIL AND GAS:
• The EPA holds its only hearing on its plan to relax federal methane pollution rules, with the majority of speakers at the Denver meeting urging the agency to keep current regulations in place. (Denver Post)
• The election of Alaska’s new governor could mean big changes for the agency overseeing the $44 billion effort to sell the state’s natural gas reserves to Asian markets, a venture he’s argued should be run by private interests. (E&E News)

SOLAR: The developers of a solar plus storage project in Hawaii tell local residents it will be “the Holy Grail of renewable energy projects.” (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

EFFICIENCY: Oregon adopts an optional energy efficiency code for commercial buildings. (KTVZ)

BIOMASS: Hawaii health officials consider granting a water permit to a facility that plans on burning eucalyptus trees to create energy. (Hawaii Public Radio)

TECHNOLOGY: A start up with California ties goes public with its bid to challenge lithium ion batteries — a gravity-powered battery that relies on the same physics as pumped hydropower but replaces water with custom-made concrete blocks. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made the right call when he decided to join the fight to stop drilling on 13,000 acres in Montana considered sacred by local tribes, says the editorial board of the Montana Standard.

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