Western Energy News

Landmark New Mexico law calls for 80 percent renewables by 2040

RENEWABLES: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs a landmark energy bill that calls for 80 percent renewable energy by 2040 while phasing out coal. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A Navajo Nation-owned energy company drops its bid to buy one of the biggest coal plants in the West, putting the Arizona facility on a path to close by the end of the year. (Associated Press)
• A Colorado lawmaker pushes legislation that might help retire coal plants early while softening the economic blow to the communities that depend on the facilities. (Greentech Media)
• Colorado’s six active coal mines saw production dip slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

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OIL & GAS:
• Democrats and environmentalists are worried that acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt could bring his experience and influence as an energy lobbyist to open more federal land in the West to drilling. (Colorado Independent)
• Meanwhile, a leaked recording of oil and gas industry executives in California reveals their celebrating how Bernhardt’s appointment will give them more influence over federal regulations. (Reveal)
• Environmental regulators are trying to determine why ozone levels spiked in a historic oilfield. (Casper Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: California’s largest utility pushes back against a federal judge’s demands that it do more to reduce wildfire risks. (E&E, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Environmentalists press San Francisco to use tax breaks and other incentives to encourage ride sharing companies to use electric vehicles. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A California ride sharing company opens an electric vehicle charging station in Salt Lake City for its drivers. (Salt Lake Tribune)

CLIMATE: U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is among a small group of influential Republicans looking for market-based approaches to climate change. (The Hill)

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POLLUTION: Colorado’s governor directs air quality regulators not to pursue a federal exemption given to states that can prove air quality is being harmed by emissions from coal plants in China and other international sources of pollution. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Building more homes near transit and jobs means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in places like California where the lack of affordable housing has given rise to “super commuters” and more air pollution, says a state senator and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (New York Times)
• A landmark clean energy bill recently passed in New Mexico is “a good template, or at least a decent sketch, for a national Green New Deal,” says a contributing editor to High Country News.
• California Gov. Gavin Newsom can show true climate leadership by keeping his promise to move the state off fossil fuels, an environmental group says. (Sacramento Bee)
• Utah can build a robust and sustainable future that “doesn’t pick energy winners and losers,” says the director of the governor’s office of energy development. (Deseret News)

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