Western Energy News

Feds agree to new salmon protections at hydro plants

HYDROPOWER: Several Northwestern states, tribes and federal agencies finalize a landmark agreement meant to strike a balance between protecting salmon and producing hydropower. (Tri-City Herald)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado regulators unanimously approve new rules creating bigger buffer zones between oil and gas wells and school buildings. (Denver Post)
• A proposed Washington methanol plant could help combat climate change by creating a cleaner-burning fuel to rival a dirtier one being produced in Asian markets, a state study concludes. (Seattle Times)

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STORAGE: Colorado’s biggest battery storage system goes online, a move expected to save customers of a Denver-area electric co-op more than $1 million per year. (Colorado Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Arizona regulators adopt a policy encouraging utilities to offer special rates for electric vehicle charging and to support building out public charging networks. (Arizona Daily Star)

SOLAR: Hawaii’s largest utility is adding a fourth grid-scale solar plus storage project on Oahu as part of its push to increase clean energy. (Pacific Business News)

UTILITIES: Accused of falsifying pipeline safety records, California’s largest utility announces a series of corrective actions including some personnel changes. (San Francisco Chronicle)

EFFICIENCY: The owners of 50 commercial buildings in San Diego are part of a growing national movement to cut energy use and transportation emissions in half by 2030. (Yale Climate Connections)

POLITICS:
• Key Republican senators say they would support the nomination of Nevada’s Dean Heller to become the next Interior Secretary. (The Nevada Independent)
• Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah and the state’s attorney general are also allegedly on the shortlist to replace Ryan Zinke as the head of the U.S. Interior Department. (KUTV)

COAL:
• California’s attorney general files a motion to support the city of Oakland’s coal ban, which was overturned by a federal judge in May. (Mercury News)
• More miners in Montana are upset about a bankrupt Colorado coal company paying bonuses to managers while the future of their pensions and benefits is in doubt. (Billings Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• Speeding the closure of a downtown coal plant in Colorado Springs should be pursued, but only if a replacement power option has been secured, says the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette.
• U.S. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming says technology, not new taxes, will help the country lower its carbon emissions. (New York Times)

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