Western Energy News

Feds to ease drilling rules on Western bird habitat

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration is finalizing plans to relax drilling restrictions across the West that were put in place to protect an imperiled bird. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Federal forest managers have rejected a controversial plan to allow drilling in a northern Nevada mountain range. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• New Mexico regulators are accusing a Texas oil and gas company of violating state and federal air quality rules by failing to control emissions from one of its wells. (Associated Press)
• A bill restoring New Mexico oil and gas regulators’ authority to impose fines clears the state Senate. (New Mexico In Depth)

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SOLAR:
• A Washington utility has agreed to buy power from the largest solar farm under development in the Pacific Northwest. (Portland Business Journal)
• Montana solar installers say a net metering rate change proposed by the state’s largest utility could cripple their industry and curtail clean energy use. (Missoula Current)
• California once again leads the nation in solar installations, according to a new industry report. (CNBC)

STORAGE:
• Microgrids and other standalone energy systems could help deliver electricity to California when utilities shut down power to help prevent wildfires. (Los Angeles Times)
• A California solar startup unveils a new “smart” storage system meant to be an alternative to diesel generators relied on by communities around the world that aren’t connected to grids. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California-based electric vehicle startup has put 900 acres up for sale in Las Vegas where it once considered building a factory to make its flagship car. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CLIMATE:
• Former Colorado governor and presidential candidate John Hickenlooper told a crowd of oil industry executive gathered in Houston that climate change requires society to move “hard and fast.” (Houston Chronicle)
• A Utah congressman says approving the Green New Deal is “tantamount to genocide.” (Politico)

RENEWABLES:  Elected officials in Boise will vote next month on adopting the goal of having the city run entirely on renewable energy by 2040. (Idaho Press)

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NUCLEAR: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is pressing Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto to lift her hold on Department of Energy appointments, a move made in protest of the federal government’s secret plutonium shipments. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: As President Trump continues to suggest that cold winters are proof climate change isn’t occurring, thank goodness for rational, responsible leaders like Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak who recently committed the state to the Paris climate accord, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun.

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