Western Energy News

Feds demand $4 billion from California over wildfires

CALIFORNIA: In a bankruptcy hearing, FEMA argues that PG&E owes the federal government $4 billion for disaster response, saying the company’s poor maintenance is akin to starting wildfires on purpose. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
A federal bankruptcy judge ruled PG&E investors may not bring claims against the utility, ultimately because of the amount of “chaos” such actions could create. (Jurist)
PG&E’s CEO says there would be “dire consequences” for the utility if it’s bankruptcy plan isn’t approved by California’s June 30 deadline. (Bloomberg Law)

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HYDROPOWER: NGOs say Southern California Edison’s plan to purchase 5 MW of hydropower from Oregon’s Bonneville Power Administration may be a “groundbreaking” way to advance energy efficiency. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: California’s Attorney General is co-leading a lawsuit challenging the DOE’s rejection of energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. (news release)

COAL:
• Economists say coal states’ lawsuits against California cities and Washington state to force ports to ship exports make little financial sense. (Los Angeles Times)
• The Navajo Transitional Energy Company agreed to a limited waiver of sovereign immunity that would allow the U.S. government to enforce environmental laws at its coal mines in Wyoming and Montana. (Associated Press)
• Federal regulators are contesting two coal companies’ proposed Wyoming operations merger, concerned that it would impede competition that has helped keep prices down. (Associated Press)
• Critics believe Northwestern Energy’s motivation behind purchasing a larger share of Colstrip’s Unit 4 is a desperate move to keep the coal plant online. (Utility Dive)
• San Juan County, New Mexico residents are worried about what the future will bring after the closures of the San Juan Generating Station and the coal mine supplying it. (Searchlight New Mexico)
• Wyoming’s Senate budget includes a $500,000 appropriation to help the next round of laid-off coal miners or other workers. (WyoFile)

MICROGRIDS: Napa Valley, California businesses and farmers say locally controlled microgrids are becoming increasingly critical because of PG&E’s power shutoffs. (Napa Valley Register)

NUCLEAR: Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station aims to reduce its wastewater use by 20%. (Cronkite News)

OIL & GAS: A new report by a taxpayer advocacy group calls for an increase in oil and gas royalty rates on federal lands in Western states. (Wyoming Public Media)

UTILITIES:
Colorado’s Platte River Power Authority is on track for 60% renewable power by the end of 2023; four proposals suggest how the utility could reach 100% by 2030. (Coloradoan)
• Xcel Energy-Colorado wants to increase its natural gas rate following years of significant investments to improve reliability and reduce emissions. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
A California writer says the state can and should look beyond cap and trade to achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. (Los Angeles Times)
An Oregon electricity cooperative executive says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s plans to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River to increase endangered salmon runs is shortsighted. (Bend Bulletin)
An Oregon public health expert says radioactive fracking waste is a threat to public health in the state. (East Oregonian)

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