Western Energy News

Federal court throws out California cities’ climate lawsuits

CLIMATE: A California federal court has dismissed climate change lawsuits against five oil companies by San Francisco and Oakland, ruling some of the legal questions posed by plaintiffs were outside the purview of the court. (Reuters)

ALSO: The newly appointed EPA regional chief overseeing California and other Western states supports reducing carbon emissions despite having “personal feelings” about climate change that are contrary to scientific consensus. (KQED)

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RENEWABLES: An Arizona utility regulator lays out the framework for new rules requiring utilities to get 80 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2050. (Utility Dive)

TECHNOLOGY: A San Francisco Bay area company plans to build the nation’s first ferry to run on hydrogen fuel cells. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• Albuquerque launches a $25 million project to install solar panels in 12 city buildings. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Hawaiian regulators approve a solar plus storage project on the island of Kauai as part of a local utility’s effort to produce 70 percent of the island’s power from renewable sources by 2030. (Renewables Now)
• California regulators approve three new programs aimed at promoting the installation of solar energy in low-income communities. (Solar Industry Magazine)

COAL: A study predicts a dire economic outcome if the Colstrip coal plant closes ahead of schedule; critics note the study ignores the existence of cheaper energy alternatives. (Great Falls Tribune)

PUBLIC LANDS: A Utah congressman said Westerners are “screwed” because of federal environmental laws he says are slowing energy development. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: A California judge approves a settlement between two utilities and ratepayers over closure costs from a failed nuclear plant. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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OIL AND GAS:
• A BP-backed project in Alaska aims to begin locally producing methanol, a chemical that helps prevent oil and gas wells and pipelines from freezing. (Anchorage Daily News)
• Alaska Native-owned oil service contractors are exploring the state’s largely untapped interior basins. (Platts)

COMMENTARY:
The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado are a national treasure and more should be done to protect them from oil and gas drilling, says a policy analyst for the Frontier Group. (CNN)
• Temporary probably means forever when it comes to the plan to store nuclear waste in New Mexico, says a local attorney and writer. (KRWG)

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