Western Energy News

In a win for Utah mining interests, judge strikes down Oakland coal ban

COAL: A federal judge strikes down the city of Oakland’s ban on coal shipments from a proposed cargo terminal, siding with a developer who wants to send Utah coal to Asia. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Environmentalists say an Arizona congressman’s plan to save a coal plant from closing exploits local tribes by exempting the facility from federal environmental rules. (Arizona Republic)

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GRID: As Texas braces for a brutally hot summer, the state’s grid operator says several investors have expressed interest in building new plants. (Austin American-Statesman)

UTILITIES: A Warren Buffett-owned utility that serves six Western states is backing off coal and natural gas and will be relying more on renewable energy over the next 20 years. (pv magazine)

HYDROPOWER: Two energy companies are exploring building a hydroelectric power facility in southern Colorado. (Durango Herald)

PUBLIC LANDS: Environmentalists file a federal lawsuit that claims the rapid increase of oil and gas lease sales across the West threatens the environment and will hasten climate change. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Citing a desire for new “advanced coal” and solar projects,  the Utah governor unveils his state energy plan, which calls for increasing energy production by 25 percent by 2020. (Deseret News)

WIND: As one Texas school district reaps financial benefits from nearby wind farms, another is caught in the crosshairs of an anti-wind group. (News Channel 6)

OIL AND GAS:
• Boulder extends its moratorium on drilling inside the city limits by two years. (Boulder Daily Camera)
• Officials from a northern Colorado city that recently struck a deal with two energy companies to cease drilling inside city limits say the agreement is not an all-out ban on fracking. (Longmont Times-Call)
• Revenues collected from oil and gas leases in May on state lands  push New Mexico to a new year-to-date record. (Ruidoso News)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla opens charging stations at three Dallas area locations. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

SOLAR:
• An Arizona utility dedicates a 20 MW solar plant with storage located between Phoenix and Tucson. (Associated Press)
• Santa Fe community college students take steps toward joining the solar industry workforce by installing panels on Habitat for Humanity homes. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• Boulder has been selected to host a national solar conference this summer. (Boulder Daily Camera)

COMMENTARY:
• Utah’s recent decision to join a lawsuit over Washington state’s rejection of a coal terminal is proof that state leaders don’t care about local control as much as they care about achieving certain results. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• The editorial board of the Greeley Tribune says the “forced pooling” bill that recently passed the Colorado legislature is a win for homeowners and the oil and gas industry.
• It’s time for electricity buyers to think about value, not just cost, says an official with a Colorado clean energy think tank. (GreenBiz)

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