Western Energy News

Ethics probe puts the brakes on Utah tar sands lease

PUBLIC LANDS: A Bureau of Land Management official halts a Utah tar sands lease sale after a media investigation finds a beneficiary of the deal also worked as a contractor in the BLM’s Salt Lake City office. (Salt Lake Tribune)

ALSO: The Trump administration begins a three-day oil and gas lease sale in Wyoming today, with all of the available parcels in sage grouse habitat. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY: A Colorado rural electric cooperative is likely to move beyond its goal of 70% renewables by the end of next year, with plans to reach 100% by 2030. (Mountain Town News)

GRID: Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric company restarts its effort to install massive batteries on the state’s grid after a 2019 fire and explosion. (Arizona Republic) 

POLLUTION: New University of Colorado Boulder research finds that the state’s mountains may be recovering from acid rain damage caused by vehicle emissions. (Colorado Politics, subscription)

CLIMATE: Oil companies are pushing to have state climate lawsuits heard in federal courts, where they are more likely to win a favorable ruling. (Houston Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• After a successful pilot program in Fremont, California, the police department in Redding is seeking city approval for a specially-equipped Tesla and other electric or hybrid vehicles for its fleet. (Redding Searchlight)
Honolulu unveils its first electric bus, aiming for a zero-emission fleet by 2035. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
A Denver-based developer of next-generation solid-state batteries aims to have its batteries in electric vehicles by 2027. (The Mobilist)

OIL & GAS:
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy seeks to require state agencies to end relationships with financial institutions that won’t finance oil and gas development in the Arctic. (Alaska Public Media)
A Colorado county commits an additional $293,000 towards challenging recent changes to the state’s oil and gas development regulations. (Post Independent)

COMMENTARY:
The new director of the Idaho National Laboratory in an interview says he is “optimistic” about the plan between Utah and a Portland-based reactor developer to build 12 small modular reactors west of Idaho Falls. (Post Register)
A Wyoming entrepreneur says the state should look to Texas as an example of a state economy that can weather swings in the fossil fuel industry. (WyoFile)

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