Western Energy News

Judge: Feds must consider climate impacts of Montana coal mine expansion

COAL: A federal judge rules that the federal government must consider potential climate change impacts from a Montana coal mine expansion. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• A Colorado wholesale power provider that’s been criticized for relying too much on coal names a new CEO and announces plans to develop a wind farm in the eastern part of the state. (Denver Post)
• Colorado regulators will make a key decision in a case over whether the same company can charge a hefty exit fee to one of its member co-ops wanting to buy cleaner energy elsewhere. (Energy News Network)
•  California’s governor announces the formation of a “strike team” of bankruptcy attorney and financial experts to come up with a plan to handle PG&E’s financial crisis. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register now for the Midwest Cogeneration Association’s Energy Policy & the Case for CHP Conference, February 19 at the Holiday Inn Hilton at the Mart, Chicago. Keynote: Rep. Sean Casten; Expert speakers; Exhibitor and Sponsorship opportunities.***

OIL & GAS:
• A Virginia-based utility that provides natural gas to about one million customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho says it will cut its methane emissions in half over the next decade. (KSL)
• Federal land managers defer plans to sell oil and gas leases in western Colorado after state officials raised concerns about the potential impacts on bighorn sheep habitat. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Oil and gas production in New Mexico last fiscal year generated a record $2.2 billion in government income, which includes a 26 percent increase in revenues for the state. (Albuquerque Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: California’s governor backs off plans to build a high-speed rail connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco, saying he’d rather focus on providing service to the state’s Central Valley. (San Francisco Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: A San Diego-based utility has sold its wind and battery storage assets to an Ohio utility for $551 million. (Times of San Diego)

SOLAR: A California-based oil and gas company is installing solar arrays at two of its drilling sites to help power some of its operations. (Solar Industry)

WIND: A federal renewable energy lab in Colorado is teaming up with a Boston company to try to improve the performance of wind farms by optimizing how turbines communicate and work together. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: Clean energy advocates say an effort by several Utah cities to help develop a small-scale nuclear reactor will prove to be financial folly for future ratepayers. (Deseret News)

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CARBON: Oregon lawmakers will be gathering public input at a series of field hearings on their plan to put a cap on carbon emissions. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

COMMENTARY: The oil and gas industry’s latest misguided attack on its critics prove that it still isn’t telling the truth about climate change, says a business columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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