Western Energy News

Federal judge approves PG&E bankruptcy exit plan

CALIFORNIA: A federal judge approves PG&E’s bankruptcy exit plan, a move that allows the utility to take part in a $20 billion state fund to help cover liabilities from future wildfires. (New York Times) 

ALSO: Federal judges are doing more to force PG&E to comply with safety rules than California officials. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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WIND: Wind power continues to grow in New Mexico, as more private companies transition to renewable energy. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

EFFICIENCY:
Southern California Gas Co. and University of California, Santa Barbara announce the completion of two energy efficiency projects. (news release)
Salt Lake City, Utah’s school board adopts a resolution aiming to establish “healthier, more environmentally sustainable schools.” (Deseret News)

OIL & GAS:
A New Mexico oilfield company is fined for illegally dumping wastewater onto state land, the first civil penalty issued under a new law. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Colorado will get stuck with abandoned wells in an oil company’s bankruptcy, and it’s not known if $325,000 in bonding as part of the deal will cover reclamation costs. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
Oil and gas activity in the Permian Basin continues to decline with 307 rigs lost from one year ago, leaving 132 in operation. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
• The administrator of Wyoming’s mine reclamation program says each of the state’s projects triggers substantial economic activity in surrounding communities. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• A Wyoming official says a coal company’s effort to escape obligation for its former mines “meets all rules and regulations.” (Casper Star-Tribune)

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SOLAR:
• Tesla claims an average home solar customer in California purchasing a large system will make their money back in only six years by reducing their electric bill. (PV Magazine)
• Hawaiian Electric reports an increase in rooftop solar applications across its service territory. (Pacific Business News)

COMMENTARY:
The president of a consumer advocacy organization says Utah and other western states are being starved of desperately needed money by the Trump administration’s financial support for the oil and gas industry. (Salt Lake Tribune)
An environmental advocate says a proposed carbon capture retrofit of a New Mexico coal plant makes no economic sense. (Durango Herald)
A diverse group of Alaskans propose an alternative for the Exxon Valdez oil spill recovery. (Anchorage Daily News)

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