Western Energy News

Critics: New Mexico nuclear storage proposal perpetuates ‘nuclear colonialism’

NUCLEAR: Critics of a New Mexico nuclear storage proposal say it would perpetuate a legacy of “nuclear colonialism” against the state’s Indigenous communities and people of color. (New Mexico Political Report)

EFFICIENCY:
The California Energy Commission votes to enact tougher energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, bucking the Trump administration rollback of light bulb efficiency standards. (The Hill)
Two southern California utilities mark completion of a $1 million energy efficiency project at the largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development project in the Western U.S. (news release)

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CALIFORNIA:
California regulators open a formal inquiry into PG&E’s power safety shut-offs, asking the utility to explain why it shouldn’t be fined. (Los Angeles Times, Associated Press)
Southern California Edison agrees to pay $360 million to local governments to settle lawsuits over major wildfires caused by its equipment. (Associated Press)
Experts blame California’s wildfires and blackouts on a systemic failure by utility management, state regulators, and politicians. (Associated Press)
California counties take steps to ensure polling places and vote-counting centers are ready in the event of power outages during an election. (Capitol Public Radio News)
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is set to introduce legislation that would ban utilities under bankruptcy from paying bonuses to executives. (San Francisco Chronicle)

COAL: Navajo Transitional Energy Company officials are confident they will be able to secure bonding for recently purchased Cloud Peak coal mines in Wyoming and Montana without financial backing from the Navajo Nation. (Associated Press)

GRID: Experts say utilities will need smarter power grid solutions to drive efficiencies and profits, citing PG&E as an example. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
The Federal Trade Commission says it has no antitrust concerns with BP’s sale of its Alaska assets to Hilcorp and it will let the $5.6 billion deal advance. (Anchorage Daily News)
• A new report indicates New Mexico’s GDP growth is fueled by oil and gas production, and an industry expert says the state is on course to break oil production records in 2019. (Carlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press)
A think tank’s report indicates 95% of oil and gas leases on public lands in New Mexico are in ‘extremely high’ water stress areas. (New Mexico Political Report)
A marketing document reveals Occidental Petroleum plans to increase its oil and gas-producing property sales, adding about 190,000 net acres of land in Utah’s Uinta Basin. (Reuters)

SOLAR: A leading developer of U.S. offshore and onshore wind projects plans to build a utility-scale 460-megawatt solar-plus-storage project in West Texas, near existing oil and gas infrastructure in the Permian Basin. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: A Hawaii state senator says Hawaiian Electric Industries has been pulled toward renewable energy over the past decade and has not been a leader. (Pacific Business News, subscription)

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STORAGE: Tesla is set to deploy its new energy storage product, the Megapack, in a major project to replace a gas peaker plant in Southern California. (Santa Barbara Independent)

COMMENTARY:
An Alaska political advocacy group says the state’s oil tax ballot measure will will hurt Alaska’s economy and jeopardize new projects. (Anchorage Daily News)
A think tank fellow ponders PG&E’s future, exploring options including restructuring. (Forbes)
An editorial board says the California Energy Commission should use common sense on the state’s solar mandate for new homes. (San Diego Union-Tribune, subscription)

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