Western Energy News

Experts: Pandemic an opportunity for California to cut fossil fuels

FOSSIL FUELS: Some experts believe that the coronavirus crisis is an opportunity for California to phase out oil activity that has long enjoyed political support despite the state’s climate ambitions. (Greentech Media)

OVERSIGHT: The EPA finalizes a rule limiting the rights of tribes, states, and the public to object to federal permits for pipelines and other energy projects that could pollute waterways. (Washington Post)

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PUBLIC LANDS:
An environmentalist says the BLM can’t be counted on to enforce its own sage-grouse protection plans, especially in Nevada. (Associated Press)
The BLM postpones oil and gas lease auctions scheduled for Nevada and Utah this month. (Reuters)

MICROGRIDS: A report commissioned by a company that sells natural gas-powered microgrids suggests they provide benefits over solar and batteries alone. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• A California Democrat’s bill would require oil companies to pay a higher cleanup bond for oil and gas wells on federal land. (Bloomberg Law)
A Wyoming oil refinery announces plans to invest as much as $750 million to transition to renewable diesel production and reduce its workforce by 200 to meet the demand for lower carbon fuels. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Alaska regulators fine Hilcorp $30,000 for meter-related violations at an oil and gas field and cite the company’s history of violations as a factor. (Anchorage Daily News)

COAL: Two of the newest mining firms in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin are confirmed to be in compliance with tax payment plans established with state and county officials. (Casper Star-Tribune)

TECHNOLOGY: A team of researchers from Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory develop a sodium-ion battery that holds as much energy and works as well as some commercial lithium-ion batteries. (Washington State University Insider)

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UTILITIES: The deadline for the pending $4.3 billion sale of El Paso Electric is extended until September 1 as both parties wait for FERC’s final approval. (El Paso Times)

COMMENTARY:
An environmental group says California’s decision to continue issuing fracking permits during the coronavirus pandemic puts people’s health at further risk. (PlanetWatch Group)
Two climate experts cite the Permian Basin’s devastating amount of methane emissions in advocating for people to be prioritized over the pollution fueling climate change. (The Hill)

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