Western Energy News

Judge says lawsuits seeking to restore Utah monuments can move forward

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal judge rejects an attempt by the Trump administration to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado oil and gas producers tell investors that new state drilling regulations will have minimal impact on their current development plans. (Colorado Public Radio)
A Texas-based oil and gas company reaches an out-of-court settlement to retire an oil and gas lease on Montana land that is sacred to the Blackfeet tribe. (Associated Press)
Environmentalists file a legal complaint asking the U.S. government to add a small lizard to the endangered species list, saying it’s threatened by oil and gas development in the Permian Basin. (Associated Press)
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s deputy chief of staff is appointed chair of the three-person Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. (Anchorage Daily News)

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COAL: Bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel will present a new sales agreement for its two Wyoming mines to a federal bankruptcy judge today. (Casper Star-Tribune)

PIPELINES: The U.S. Department of Transportation adopts new safety measures for oil and gas pipelines that have been in the works since 2010 disasters in California and Michigan. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
The attorney representing bankrupt California utility PG&E in an upcoming wildfire trial tells a San Francisco judge he’s concerned recent news coverage will influence potential jurors. (ABC10)
San Diego Gas & Electric signs a 59-month power purchase contract with Texas-based Calpine and will not have to pay $280 million to buy a natural gas power plant in San Diego. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
PG&E apologizes for “any miscommunication” for statements it made in 2015 that suggested it would rebury an exposed gas pipeline in a park northeast of San Francisco. (East Bay Times)

WIND: The financial backer of a massive Wyoming wind energy project says climate change is a concern but “we’re doing it to make money.” (Forbes)

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EFFICIENCY:
• Rocky Mountain states like Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana are lagging behind coastal states on energy efficiency, according to a report ranking states on their energy-friendly policies. (Montana Public Radio, ACEEE)
The same report praises Hawaii for significantly improving its energy efficiency policies, making it the 16th most efficient state. (Pacific Business News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
Both of PG&E’s bankruptcy plan options are unlikely to change the utility’s habit of putting profits before safety, says the editorial board of the Lake County Record-Bee.
A New Mexico columnist says nuclear energy needs to sustain itself without government assistance to be viable in the long term. (Eastern New Mexico News)

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