Western Energy News

Judge blocks Trump’s efforts to open Arctic, Atlantic to drilling

OIL & GAS: A federal judge in Alaska ruled Friday that President Trump’s order lifting a ban on drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans is illegal, restoring protection for about 128 million acres of federal waters. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A bill seeking to overhaul the way oil and gas is regulated in Colorado clears the House and now moves on to the Senate. (Denver Post)
• North Dakota’s top oil and gas regulator has requested money to sue Washington if legislation passes restricting the volatility of oil shipped through the state by rail. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Oil and gas companies based in Colorado and California are among those being sued by New Orleans over coastal erosion. (The Times-Picayune)

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PIPELINES:
• President Trump issued an executive order Friday granting permission for a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which was most recently blocked by a federal judge in Montana. (Reuters)
• Federal energy regulators gave a preliminary approval to a controversial plan to build a liquefied natural gas facility and pipeline in southern Oregon. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
• The future of a Wyoming oilfield may depend on how fast pipelines can be built to move crude to market. (Casper Star Tribune)

RENEWABLES: A Seattle-based tech startup makes it easier for corporations across the U.S. to procure renewable energy from developers. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• Officials with Arizona’s largest utility confirm the company gave millions of dollars to dark-money political groups in 2014 elect two candidates to the state board that regulates utilities. (Arizona Republic)
• Nevada officials say a Las Vegas-based data center company should be regulated like a utility based on how it charges customers for power. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The CEO of a California company behind the nation’s largest public network of fast charging stations for electric vehicles talks about the future of transportation. (Associated Press)

COAL: New Mexico’s new clean energy law includes a widely-praised provision that helps former fossil fuel workers transition to new jobs, but several indigenous groups say it lacks their input. (Greentech Media)

CLIMATE: California cities have been implementing a hodgepodge of programs aligned to the principles of the Green New Deal for years. (Time)

PUBLIC LANDS: A land swap authorized in a massive public lands bill recently signed into law could spur renewable energy projects on 12,000 acres acquired by a Utah school lands trust. (Deseret News)

SOLAR:
• New Mexico lost 14 percent of its solar workforce last year, a trend local industry officials blame on President Trump’s tariffs on solar imports. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Rooftop solar customers are playing an increasingly important role in a Colorado co-op’s efforts to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. (Durango Herald)
• Montana lawmakers reject a bill backed by local high school students that would have raised a state lodging tax to pay for solar panels for about 15 schools. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

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BIOFUELS: Oregon’s largest dairy is working with a Portland investment fund on a $55 million project to turn methane from cow manure into natural gas. (The Statesman Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• A national wildlife refuge in Alaska isn’t open for oil and gas development and, “if the law and common sense prevail, it never will be,” says a former Interior Department official. (The Hill)
• An Oregon bill proposing to establish a carbon cap-and-trade system “reeks of rich, progressive urbanites misunderstanding rural and struggling Oregon” says the editorial board of the The Register-Guard.
• Several bills in Colorado proposing new clean energy and carbon-reduction measures will help the state remain economically competitive while preserving quality of life, say two members of a local climate change coalition. (Colorado Politics)

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