Western Energy News

Hawaii commits to become carbon neutral by 2045

CLIMATE: Hawaii’s governor signs a bill committing the state to be carbon neutral by 2045. (Fast Company)

STORAGE: California regulators approve a San Diego utility’s plan to add five new battery storage projects, enough to power about 55,000 homes for four hours. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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COAL: A U.S. Interior Department officials tells one of the customers of an Arizona coal plant they are obligated to continue buying power from the plant even though its owners plan to close it next year. (Arizona Republic)

OIL AND GAS:
• New Mexico leaders pledge to fight for their fair share of money from drilling and mining as a federal committee convenes a hearing in Albuquerque this week to discuss national royalty policies. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Members of a Colorado oil and gas industry group have voluntarily agreed to limit activities that contribute to air pollution to help the Denver area avoid federal sanctions. (Denver Post)
• Alaska companies find a niche helping oil and gas companies deal with the impacts of climate change. (KTOO)

UTILITIES: As California lawmakers contemplate setting up a wildfire relief fund, the state’s largest electric utility asks regulators to delay its rate case, citing lingering liability questions. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• California used more solar power than natural gas in May, which sets a monthly record. (pv magazine)
• A Nevada resort and casino begins receiving solar power from a 20 MW plant about 375 miles away, one of several ambitious renewable energy projects recently launched on the Las Vegas Strip. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

RENEWABLES: A recent appointment to the commission that regulates utilities in Oregon is a win for renewable energy supporters. (pv magazine)

POLITICS:
• After denying a coal mine permit, a Wyoming citizens council is forced to justify its role in environmental reviews. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mocks President Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout plan: protect pagers, Blockbuster and fax machines, he says. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR:
• Leaders of a New Mexico town adopt a resolution opposing plans to store nuclear waste at a temporary site in the southeastern part of the state. (Hobbs News-Sun)
• The U.S. House is set to vote this week on a $44 billion spending bill, which includes funding to restart the licensing process for the nuclear storage project at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An Oregon company is prepping for the rollout of its electric “fun utility vehicles.” (Oregon Business)

COMMENTARY:
Government-run energy programs are unraveling the centralized planning and service California needs to keep the lights on, says the former mayor of San Diego. (Sacramento Bee)
• If caribou could talk, they would oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, says a department chair emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)
• Montana’s “all of the above” energy portfolio puts the state in an enviable position, says U.S. Senator Steve Daines. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
• Unfortunately, Alaska “remains the kind of backwater where thinking about a future of carbon reduction and renewable energy is controversial,” says an Anchorage columnist. (Bristol Bay Times)

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