Western Energy News

House Democrats proposal aims for zero emissions from public lands

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PUBLIC LANDS: U.S. House Democrats unveil a bill aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from public lands by 2040, including halting fossil fuel production for at least one year. (Vox, The Hill)

ALSO: Idaho, Wyoming, and the U.S. Interior Department appeal a court ruling suspending the Trump administration’s plan to ease sage grouse protections in seven Western states. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES:
Xcel Energy, Black Hills Colorado Electric, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Platte River Power Authority are joining the California Western Energy Imbalance Market. (Denver Post)
Missoula, Montana residents voice their opposition to NorthWestern Energy’s 2019 resource procurement plan, calling it an “obscenity” in a meeting with state regulators. (The Missoulan)

EMISSIONS: A federal judge gives California more time to respond to the Trump administration’s challenge of the state’s cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec. (E&E News, subscription)

EFFICIENCY:
California utility regulators unanimously vote to adopt two new energy efficiency frameworks expected to boost emerging technologies. (Utility Dive)
• Missoula, Montana, city council members are skeptical of a NorthWestern Energy’s plan to convert more than 1,800 street lights to LEDs. (KXLH)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Eight western governors sign a memorandum of understanding to voluntarily enhance the region’s electric vehicle infrastructure. (Colorado Politics)
California’s Advanced Clean Truck rules policy requiring manufacturers to produce a certain percentage of zero-emission trucks is set to be finalized next spring. (GreenBiz)

NATURAL GAS: Environmentalists and the natural gas industry issue contrasting accounts about the impact of burning off excess natural gas in the Permian Basin and other U.S. shale plays. (Houston Chronicle)

OIL & GAS: Proposals for more frequent inspections of Colorado oil and gas sites to improve air quality expose differing opinions between urban and rural parts of the state, and within rural Colorado itself. (Denver Post)

COAL: Pacific Northwest political and business leaders are uncertain whether there will be enough electricity once western coal plants close. (KGW8)

SOLAR:
Tesla appears to be keeping its solar power work under wraps by putting “canopy covers” over its solar roof test structures in California. (CNBC)
Las Cruces, New Mexico’s city council approves an agreement to bring more solar energy generating facilities to the city as part of its transition to 100% renewable energy. (Las Cruces Sun-News)

STORAGE: California regulators aim to boost energy storage technologies to combat planned public safety power shutoffs through a proposed annual collection from ratepayers. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: The developers of the Whistler Pipeline project moving natural gas from the Permian Basin of West Texas to Corpus Christi will hold three public meetings. (Houston Chronicle) 

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E agrees to a $1.7 billion settlement with California regulators for deadly and destructive wildfires caused by the utility’s equipment. Separately, a bankruptcy judge approved two settlements totalling $24.5 billion for PG&E wildfire victims and insurance companies. (New York Times, NPR)
A judge rules victims of 2016’s deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire and their families can proceed with a civil lawsuit against PG&E. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Though not impacted by planned power outages, Davis joins the long list of California cities pushing for public ownership of PG&E. (KXTV)

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CLIMATE: Alaska’s melting permafrost is bringing about disturbing developments including increased greenhouse gas emissions. (Anchorage Daily News)

COMMENTARY: A columnist says if California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants the state to take over PG&E, then he should explicitly say so and take responsibility for the aftermath. (CalMatters)

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