Western Energy News

Critics: Washington lawmakers failed on climate

EMISSIONS: Advocates say the Washington legislature failed to pass a single significant measure to cut greenhouse gas emissions despite setting ambitious goals to do so this year. (InvestigateWest) 

CALIFORNIA:
Two of the fire victims’ committee members involved in PG&E’s bankruptcy have resigned, saying the utility’s $13.5 billion settlement is “deeply flawed and very risky.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
• California wildfire victims are worried that PG&E’s $13.5 billion settlement will be worth a lot less by the time the utility exits bankruptcy because of its falling stock price. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: Sunnova Energy’s CEO says southern California power customers choosing the grid over solar and storage “might as well just light some of the money in [their] wallet on fire.” (Forbes)

ELECTRIFICATION: A recent poll in California reveals a lack of consumer awareness about alternatives to fossil-fuel-burning appliances despite an anticipated boom in all-electric homes. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs a bill making it possible for electric vehicle manufacturers to sell directly to the public, but concerns are being raised about the law’s impact in the short term due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
The new Colorado law is a big win for manufacturer Rivian, which helped push the legislation. (Electrek) 

OIL & GAS:
Occidental Petroleum, the Permian’s largest oil and gas producer, announces it’s reducing production by six percent because of ongoing market volatility. (BizWest Media/Daily Camera)
Colorado’s top oil regulators are delaying a public hearing about updating state oil and gas wellbore integrity standards until June because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

OVERSIGHT: FERC has accepted Tri-State Generation and Transmission into its jurisdiction and will regulate rates for member utilities in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska. (Longmont Times-Call)

PUBLIC LANDS:
The BLM hastened to make temporary changes to its lease sale rules this week because of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite calls for auctions to be stopped until oil prices have rebounded. (New Mexico Political Report)
Western oil and gas operators are pressuring the BLM to ease enforcement on federal lands as production is disrupted and staffing levels are reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:
Wyoming’s rural electric cooperatives could face increased costs if Colorado regulators vote against an exit charge for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s Colorado members cancelling their contracts. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)
Dominion Energy honors its gas utility workers for their skill and dedication to serving communities in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. (news release)

NUCLEAR: Some of the decommissioning work of Southern California’s San Onofre nuclear plant has temporarily stopped due to the state’s coronavirus restrictions. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SOLAR: California-based distributed solar and storage company SunPower announces it’s cutting executive salaries and withdrawing guidance offered for 2020, citing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media)

WIND: The company behind a proposed 46.8 megawatt wind farm in Hawaii cancels the project after four years of planning. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

COMMENTARY:
A renewable energy lawyer and policy expert says it’s vital for California’s microgrids to be interconnected for increased resiliency to cope with wildfires and other crises including pandemics. (PV Magazine)
An Oregon editorial board explains why PG&E’s bankruptcy judge and the state of California should hold the utility accountable for its failings. (Mail Tribune)

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