Western Energy News

Filibuster fails to stop landmark New Mexico clean energy bill

CLEAN ENERGY:
• After a four-hour filibuster by a Republic lawmaker, the New Mexico state Senate passed landmark legislation seeking to establish renewable energy standards while phasing out coal. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Meanwhile a Xcel Energy subsidiary serving part of New Mexico announces its support of the bill, joining the state’s largest utility. (Albuquerque Journal)

SOLAR: A Portland clean energy developer announces plans to build a 150 MW solar farm on state land southern Washington. (Seattle Times)

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TRANSPORTATION:
• Las Vegas’s tourism agency is recommending an Elon Musk-backed company be given a contract to build and operate a tunnel system that relies on autonomous electric vehicles to ferry people about the city. (Associated Press)
• California’s top environmental regulator says the Trump administration was never interested in negotiating with the state about its plan to roll back vehicle emission standards. (CALmatters)

UTILITIES:
• Montana’s largest electricity supplier releases a plan to double the amount of power it generates during peak demand but critics worry the company will rely too much on natural gas and not enough on clean energy. (Associated Press)
• Calling PG&E’s management “dismal,” a federal judge says he might order California’s largest utility to halt shareholder dividends and spend it on wildfire prevention instead. (Sacramento Bee)
• Las Vegas city officials are set to entertain competing proposals from Nevada’s largest utility and a Texas-based rival for a future power contract. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Energy efficiency financing from one major lender contributed $134 million a year to California’s economy between 2013 and 2018, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• A Colorado Senate committee approves a bill to overhaul the way the state regulates the oil and gas industry after hours of contentious debate. (Durango Herald)
• A northern Colorado town settles a lawsuit brought by an activist who claimed the former mayor violated his First Amendment rights by removing social media comments he made in support of a fracking ban. (Longmont Times-Call)
• Alaska regulators order a major oil company to plug and abandon 14 wells as they continue to raise concerns that melting permafrost might be to blame for past well leaks. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A sweeping transportation bill in Utah is nearing final approval that among other measures would create a “road user charge” program for electric vehicle drivers. (Deseret News)
• Customers of a San Diego utility can apply for an electric vehicle credit through the end of May. (KUSI)

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COAL: Some officials in Wyoming are starting to tone down their economic dreams of sending coal to Asia as the state’s last coal exporter circles a possible bankruptcy. (Casper Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry is doing a “Texas two-step around the truth” when it comes to his department’s shipment of of plutonium to Nevada last fall, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun
• A former U.S. senator and Interior Secretary from Colorado says a bill under consideration proposing sweeping changes to the way the state regulates the oil and gas industry is “too extreme.” (Denver Post)
• A Southern California utility’s move to adopt “time of use” rates will make solar energy less attractive to homeowners, says the CEO of a local solar company. (CALmatters)
• An Arizona columnist asks how a $225 fine levied against 28 elected officials who broke the law by campaigning against a clean energy initiative serves as a meaningful deterrent. (Arizona Republic)

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