Western Energy News

In California, gas industry sees risk of ‘death by a 1,000 cuts’

OIL & GAS: The president of a petroleum group warns that a Berekley, California, ban on natural gas hook-ups to new buildings could spread across the state, which would mean “death by a 1,000 cuts” for the industry. (S&P Global)

• Seattle’s mayor wants to tax home heating oil in an effort to push 18,000 homeowners to convert to electric heating pumps. (Seattle Times)
• Environmental groups plan to sue a Phillips 66 oil refinery in Los Angeles for allegedly mismanaging hazardous waste for years. (Los Angeles Times)
• Conservation groups say they will fight a lawsuit by fossil fuel companies seeking to overturn a 2016 rule that increased the royalties companies pay for extracting coal, oil and gas from federal lands. (Wyoming Public Media)
• Industry supporters clash with environmentalists during a public hearing on the adoption of stricter rules for methane emissions from oil and gas operations in New Mexico. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

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UTILITIES: Amid mounting pressure from members, a Colorado power wholesaler may finally embrace a shift to renewables. (Utility Dive)

• A coffee shop that uses solar technology to roast its beans opens in downtown Colorado Springs. (The Gazette)
• Hawaii’s solar market continues to struggle four years after the state moved to end net metering. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: Three Hawaiian utility companies ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. for per-capita energy storage installations last year, according to a new report. (PV Magazine)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Albuquerque receives a $2.7 million federal grant to pay for five new electric-powered city buses, the first of their kind in the city. (Albuquerque Journal)

• Environmentalists in Nevada hope state lawmakers will close a loophole that allows owners of “classic” cars to avoid smog tests. (Las Vegas Sun)
• Electric vehicle adoption coupled with coal plant retirements could reduce Colorado’s carbon emissions 42 percent by 2040, while lowering electricity costs, according to a study commissioned by a clean energy company. (news release)

NUCLEAR: A Utah environmental and public health advocacy group held a community forum about the potential effects of using small, modular nuclear reactors in the state. (KPCW)

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CLIMATE: Oregon’s rural versus urban divide on climate and economic policy is increasing as lawmakers attempt to limit the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. (East Oregonian)

• Declining oil earnings are causing serious budget troubles for Alaska, which doesn’t charge its residents property, sales or personal income taxes, says a columnist for Bloomberg.
• Oregon needs to “cool down the partisan rhetoric” and support cap-and-trade legislation, say two state representatives. (The Oregonian)

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