Western Energy News

House subcommittee advances Yucca Mountain bill

NUCLEAR: A House subcommittee passed a bill authorizing the Department of Energy to prepare Nevada’s Yucca Mountain to operate as a radioactive waste repository despite opposition. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

ALSO: Holtec International reached an agreement with a consortium of New Mexico construction and craft unions to build a nuclear waste storage facility near Carlsbad and Hobbs. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

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OVERSIGHT: Acting Bureau of Land Management Director William Pendley recuses himself from work involving 57 former clients in the wake of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates. (Associated Press)

COAL:
One of three generating units at the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, has closed. (Associated Press)
Critics say a Hawaii utility’s plan to combine annual greenhouse emissions caps for 13 power plants would allow the state’s only coal-fired power plant to increase emissions. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
A Colorado congresswoman is pushing a bill based on policy from her home state requiring oil and gas companies to capture methane emissions, in an effort to restore Obama-era regulations. (Colorado Independent)
Commerce City, Colorado, community members and climate activists are calling for the closure of the nearby Suncor Energy oil refinery, citing “800,000 tons of toxic pollutants” they say the plant releases annually. (Denver Post)

SOLAR:
Xcel Energy is expected to announce today who will build a 240-megawatt solar project at a Pueblo steel mill. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
The Navajo Nation opens the second phase of its Kayenta solar project, which now has 56 MW of capacity. (KNAU)
• A California solar-storage developer launches a $100 million Agriculture Energy Infrastructure Fund focused on combining low-cost solar power-purchase agreements with energy storage. (Greentech Media)
Colorado solar developer Pivot Energy announced it is expanding into New Mexico and will begin providing commercial solar service to organizations across the state. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
California regulators are skeptical about bankrupt utility PG&E’s proposal for a subscription-based electric vehicle charging rate, citing concerns about customer subsidization and utilization rates. (Utility Dive)
Officials in Spokane, Washington, extend the timeline for a proposed electric vehicle manufacturing facility west of the city. (Spokesman-Review)

WIND: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and U.S. Senator John Tester celebrate the grand opening of the 79.75-megawatt Stillwater Wind project. (Windpower Engineering)

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WAVE ENERGY: Oregon’s 826-ton Ocean Energy Buoy, designed to harness wave energy, is nearing completion. (KPTV)

COMMENTARY:
A Utah bank president says the Utah Coal Country Strike Team is a remarkable, collaborative effort to revitalize the state’s coal country. (Deseret News)
A Taos, New Mexico, advocate says his city can provide a model for clean energy development in rural areas. (Taos News)

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