Western Energy News

Industry says Oklahoma legislation could bankrupt existing wind farms

WIND: Oklahoma lawmakers have proposed new caps on tax credits for wind energy, which an industry lobbyist says could bankrupt existing wind farms. (Houston Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• Officials with a Utah solar company refute claims made by the New Mexico attorney general that it strong-arms customers into unfair contracts. (Provo Daily Herald)
• A central Texas city extends its boundaries at the request of an Austin company seeking to build a solar farm there. (Community Impact Newspapers)

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UTILITIES: Boulder, Colorado and Xcel Energy ask regulators for more time to file agreements related to the city’s creating of a municipal utility. (Denver Post)

OIL AND GAS:
The U.S. Interior Department will pay four western Colorado counties $18 million in a longstanding dispute over the cleanup of a federal shale research site. (Glenwood Springs Post-Independent)
• An amendment in the Oklahoma Senate would double the state’s production tax rate on new oil and gas wells. (The Oklahoman)
• The Ute Indian Tribe files a lawsuit against the federal government claiming they are owed millions of dollars in royalties from mining and oil and gas development on tribal lands near the Colorado-Utah border. (Salt Lake Tribune)
A Utah refinery fire leaves a thin film of oil on local homes, cars and an elementary playground. (Deseret News)
• A plan to drill 2,808 new oil and gas wells on federal land in Utah over 15 years would generate about $1 billion in state royalties, according to recently released documents. (Deseret News)

PUBLIC LANDS: Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia continues to fight the Trump administration over the decision to shrink to Utah monuments to foster energy development. (Washington Post)

COAL: After pledging to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2020, the city of Denton, Texas will be getting some of its electricity from a coal-fired power plant this summer, and possibly the next. (Denton Record Chronicle)

EFFICIENCY:
• Home sales are picking up steam in Colorado’s first “geosolar” neighborhood near Denver. (Colorado Springs Independent)
• 
Henderson, Nevada is recognized with a regional award for energy efficiency. (KTNV)

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NUCLEAR: Nevada leaders criticize the chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over a private meeting with county officials who support plans to build the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois “is hell-bent” on turning Nevada into a nuclear waste dump, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun.
• A High Country News editor writes that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald Trump ignored everyone but the fossil fuel industry when it came to the decision to shrink two Utah monuments.
• Oklahoma teachers have suffered the consequences of the state’s decision to prop up the oil and gas industry, writes a Harvard student and Tulsa native. (The Hill)

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