Western Energy News

Early coal closures could save Oregon utility customers $248 million

COAL: An Oregon utility could save its customers $248 million over 20 years if it closes four units at two Wyoming coal plants by 2022, according to new economic analysis. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

• Montana’s legislative session wraps up without action on a bill aimed at saving a struggling coal plant. (Billings Gazette)
• Demand for coal from one of Wyoming’s historic basins could fall up to three percent, according to one of its largest producers. (Casper Star Tribune)

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• The Trump administration releases plans to reopen more than a million acres of public and private land in California to fracking. (Los Angeles Times)
• The Trump administration is backing off plans to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic after a recent ruling by a federal judge in Alaska. (New York Times)
• The sponsors of a proposed ballot initiative to repeal Colorado’s new law overhauling oil and gas regulations say they plan to pull the measure and try again next year if predictions about lost jobs or revenue come true. (Denver Post)
• Alaska’s governor tells President Trump in a letter that “career employees” of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to “undermine” efforts to open a national wildlife refuge to drilling. (Anchorage Daily News)

• A Texas pipeline company has been fined more than $3 million for causing the worst coastal spill in California in 25 years. (Associated Press)
• The closure of a Utah pipeline due to safety violations is prompting an oil and gas company to resume flaring natural gas at some connecting wells. (Salt Lake Tribune)

STORAGE: A Southern California utility has tapped several energy storage projects to supply the local power needs of a coastal city instead of a gas peaker plant it previously selected. (Greentech Media)

• As reported by local media last month, Arizona’s largest utility conceded in regulatory filings that it secretly funneled millions of dollars to favorite candidates vying to become utility regulators. (Arizona Republic archive, Associated Press)
• Los Angeles County has sued a Southern California utility to recover $100 million in damages from a deadly wildfire last year that may have been sparked by one its wires. (Associated Press)
• A Reno resort has opted to continue buying power from Nevada’s largest utility. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• Oregon regulators adopt a rule requiring utilities to file a plan every two years showing how they will electrify transportation. (Utility Dive)
• Tesla is still deciding which of its factories in California and Nevada to designate for production of a new electric vehicle. (Electrek)

POLITICS: Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke says he would be willing to consider placing a moratorium on drilling on federal lands to combat climate change if elected president. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: California regulators should say no to PG&E’s “outrageous” rate increase request, says a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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