Western Energy News

Interior delays drilling leases near sacred tribal land in New Mexico

OIL & GAS: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has agreed to a one-year delay on oil and gas leasing near a national historical park in New Mexico considered sacred by Western tribes. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The Oregon Senate has approved a five-year moratorium on fracking. (Statesman Journal)
• A Denver suburb becomes the seventh community in Colorado to adopt a temporary moratorium on drilling after the passage of a new law changing the way the oil and gas industry is regulated in the state. (Greeley Tribune)

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CLIMATE:
• A federal judge in Washington rules that federal land managers must consider the climate change impacts of drilling on 250 square miles of public land in Utah and Colorado. (Associated Press)
• Environmentalists are opposing subsidies for California dairies using methane digesters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Sacramento Bee)

RENEWABLES:
• A western Colorado community will become the seventh in the nation to be 100% powered by renewable energy, a move made possible by a new deal with the city’s power provider. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
• The city council in Santa Monica, California passes an $800 million climate action plan which calls for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050. (Smart Cities Dive)

UTILITIES: California lawmakers decline to change the state’s strict liability law which holds utilities responsible for wildfire damages even if negligence isn’t proven. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL:
• A Montana tribe is criticizing the Trump administration for not consulting with them before seeking to overturn a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands. (Reuters)
• Labor leaders are optimistic that employees of a Wyoming coal mine won’t lose their jobs even though its new owner has tapped a Canadian company specializing in mine reclamation as the new operator. (Casper Star-Tribune)

SOLAR: An Anchorage solar company is experiencing explosive growth, a sign the industry might be gaining more traction in Alaska. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

HYDROPOWER: Regulators in Oregon and Idaho have approved a water quality certification that will help efforts to renew the license of a major hydroelectric project on the Snake River. (Associated Press)

GRID: A French electrical equipment company has invested in a California startup to put its data analytics and machine learning to use in managing distributed energy resources and microgrids. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR: U.S. Sen. John Barrasso says “it’s time to end the political games” and restart the licensing process to store the nation’s nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Pointing to the election of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a New York Times columnist says it’s time Democrats start running hard on climate and energy instead of “paying the issue lip service.”
• A former Montana utility regulator says a forthcoming Trump administration rule replacing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan “offers a realistic plan to address climate concerns while ensuring the future reliability of America’s power grid.” (Deseret News)

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