Western Energy News

Increasing vehicle emissions threaten California’s climate goals

CLIMATE: A new report from California regulators shows that carbon emissions from driving are increasing, putting the state’s ambitious climate goals in jeopardy. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO: Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso says a recent federal climate change report underscores the need to make the state’s energy mix “as clean as we can, as fast as we can.” (Casper Star Tribune)

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RENEWABLES: A fee increase from California’s largest utility will cost a San Francisco clean energy program $20 million over the next year and possibly slow down the construction of local renewable energy projects. (San Francisco Examiner)

PUBLIC LANDS: The U.S. Interior Department’s Inspector General has cleared Secretary Ryan Zinke of any wrongdoing in an investigation into his decision to shrink a Utah national monument around a former lawmaker’s property. (The Hill)

OIL AND GAS:
• Wyoming is the nation’s top contributor of greenhouse gases, according to a new federal report that shows oil and gas drilling on public lands produces about a quarter of all national carbon emissions. (The Hill)
• Critics of a proposed inland port in Utah worry that it will be used to transfer and store fossil fuels. (Deseret News)
• After issuing a dire warning about the impact the oil and gas boom is having on New Mexico’s environment, the state land commissioner pulls his appointee to the commission that regulates the industry. (Associated Press)
• The oil and gas boom in New Mexico’s Permian Basin is bringing more industry donations to Carlsbad charities but is also creating more demand for aid, especially with housing. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: California utilities will likely not get changes to the state’s liability laws they want under legislation being crafted by lawmakers hoping to shield them from going bankrupt as a result of wildfire damages. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES:
• Two Colorado cities are considering forming their own municipal utilities as a way to achieve their clean energy goals. (Colorado Sun)
• The Oakland Raiders’ departure from Nevada’s largest utility won’t harm it or its customers but similar exits from the system might, according to state regulators’ staff members. (The Nevada Independent)
• The chairman of the board of a Canadian company trying to buy a Washington utility is grilled by Idaho regulators wanting assurances Ontario’s government won’t exert too much control over the business. (The Spokesman-Review)

HYDROGEN: A French industrial gas company with Texas ties plans to build a $150 million liquid hydrogen plant in the Western U.S., capable of producing enough hydrogen for 35,000 fuel cell electric vehicles. (Houston Chronicle)

RESEARCH: Colorado researchers document how wind farms can create a wake effect on downstream turbines, highlighting the need for better coordination among developers. (CU Boulder Today)

COMMENTARY:
• California needs the least expensive and most acceptable technical solutions to meet its goal of getting all of its energy from renewable sources by 2040, says the former associate director of a national laboratory. (Brink News)
• The recent warnings from New Mexico’s outgoing land commissioner about the impact of the oil and gas boom on the environment should be taken seriously, says the editorial board of the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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