Western Energy News

House panel seeks end to Yucca Mountain stalemate

NUCLEAR: A stalemate over nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain might be resolved if the Department of Energy was no longer the lead agency on the project, experts and members of Congress suggest at a House hearing. (Nevada Independent)

ALSO:
• A former Energy Department official tells Congress it should pursue nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain despite overwhelming and bipartisan opposition from Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• The DOE moves forward with plans to reclassify high-level nuclear waste, which could send more to a New Mexico waste facility. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham meets with executives from a company developing a molten-salt cooled nuclear reactor. (Associated Press)

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OIL & GAS:
• A proposed oil-by-rail project that would move Utah crude to Gulf Coast refiners secures a $21.4 million federal grant. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• An Alaska hunting lodge is ordered to pay nearly $8 million for an oil spill cleanup related to a February 2018 spill in Port William. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• Hawaii is the first state to set a deadline for implementing financial incentives and penalties for utilities based on performance metrics. (Greentech Media)
• Oregon’s Pacific Power announces a new wildfire policy that includes “public safety power shutoffs” in high fire risk areas. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
• A candidate for a Colorado electric co-op board says distributed generation and renewable energy may be opportunities for the association. (Craig Press)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Seattle trash collectors roll out a “green fleet” of vehicles powered by renewable gas and diesel, along with two battery-electric trucks. (Seattle PI)
• Southern California Edison introduces a new tool to help electric vehicle owners estimate the total cost of ownership. (CleanTechnica)

RENEWABLES:
• The chair of the California Energy Commission says getting to 80% clean energy won’t be hard, but 100% will be a challenge. (E&E News, subscription)   
• Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is seeking proposals from developers to add more renewable power to its portfolio. (Daily Sentinel)

STORAGE:
• A California company is using artificial intelligence to help businesses maximize cost savings from large scale energy projects. (CNBC)
• Several Western utilities have announced major energy storage plans over the last six months driven by policy and falling costs. (GreenBiz)

SOLAR: Nevada clean energy advocates celebrate the signing of several bills that increase the state’s commitment to clean energy. (Solar Builder)

EFFICIENCY: A northern California county is recognized by its utility for energy efficiency measures saving nearly 285,000 kWh a year. (Taft Midway Driller)

POLITICS: Former Colorado governor and Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper releases a climate plan and says the Green New Deal “might trigger a backlash that dooms the fight against climate change.”

COMMENTARY:
• New Mexico’s proposed community solar program incorporates several notable best practices, an advocate writes. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
• A Montana community faces challenges and opportunities in the wake of a coal plant closure, an editorial board writes. (Billings Gazette)
• California lawmakers are turning the state’s cap-and-trade program into the slush fund critics have long feared, an editorial board writes. (Los Angeles Times)
• The president of a local steelworkers union says Oregon’s proposed cap-and-trade bill threatens paper mill jobs in the state. (Portland Tribune)
• A microbiologist writes that Yucca Mountain is the safest place for nuclear waste, and we should pay Nevada to use it. (USA Today)

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