Western Energy News

DOJ working with oil industry to oppose climate lawsuits

OIL & GAS: Internal emails reveal that Department of Justice attorneys have been working closely with the oil industry to oppose climate lawsuits filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. (InsideClimate News)

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is among those critical of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken key provisions of a federal law regulating extraction activities such oil and gas drilling. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Larimer County, Colorado officials and local activists are against a proposed 15-well oil and gas extraction pad near Windsor and Timnath. (Fort Collins Coloradoan, subscription)

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CALIFORNIA: FEMA could bill victims of PG&E wildfires for a portion of the agency’s response costs if the utility doesn’t pay the $4 billion requested as part of its bankruptcy. (San Francisco Chronicle)

• California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget includes $12.5 billion over five years for climate initiatives focused on decarbonizing transportation, water resilience, and other measures. (Capital Public Radio)
• Southern California Gas Co. awards $50,000 grants to Los Angeles County and the cities of Malibu and Loma Linda to support local efforts to prepare for climate change risks. (Los Angeles Daily News)

EFFICIENCY: A pilot program of four homes in rural Colorado with distributed energy resources working together across the buildings shows what energy resilience could look like in the future. (GreenBiz)

CLEAN ENERGY: Santa Barbara County, California is turning to alternative energy sources to protect itself in the wake of disastrous wildfires throughout the state last year. (Santa Barbara News-Press) 

MICROGRIDS: Companies in California are considering agricultural microgrids thanks to tech innovation, lower costs, and new market-based business models. (Microgrid Knowledge)

• New Mexico and California are cited in a new report exploring why most U.S. utilities are failing to make the most of smart meters. (Greentech Media)
• PG&E and Solar.com are in talks over a program enabling renewable energy subscriptions from a specific community-based project within the utility’s service territory. (Bakersfield Now)

TECHNOLOGY: Backers say the success of a new ore processing facility in Wheat Ridge, Colorado refining rare earths necessary in manufacturing wind turbines and electric cars is crucial to protecting the country’s future. (Denver Post)

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NUCLEAR: Berkeley, California startup Deep Isolation is partnering with Bechtel for nuclear waste disposal contracts. (Silicon Valley Business Journal, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A Colorado editorial board says protecting the health and well-being of residents is vital, and no one involved in the oil and gas industry should be allowed to take shortcuts on emissions. (Greeley Tribune)

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