Western Energy News

Lawsuit: Oil and gas drilling threatens New Mexico national park

OIL & GAS: An environmental group files a lawsuit claiming southeastern New Mexico’s oil and gas boom threatens Carlsbad Caverns National Park. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Federal land managers in New Mexico continue issuing drilling permits despite a judge’s recent decision that they failed to consider the cumulative water use of wells in the region. (High Country News)
• An environmental group in Washington questions a state lawmaker’s role in promoting a proposed $2 billion methanol plant. (Seattle Times)
• Colorado oil and gas regulators issued $5.2 million in fines last year, a 31% percent decrease in penalties issued in 2017. (Colorado Public Radio)
• A preliminary agreement between Aurora, Colorado, and two major oil companies could double the number of wells in the city. (Colorado Independent)

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UTILITIES:
• Arizona’s major utilities charge customers thousands of dollars each year to pay for membership in lobbying groups. (Phoenix New Times)
• An El Paso, Texas, utility that provides power for more than 100,000 people in New Mexico is acquired by a private investment group for $4.3 billion. (Albuquerque Journal)

WIND: A utility that provides power to much of Wyoming plans to break ground on a local $3.1 billion wind project that calls for the construction of three new wind farms. (Wyoming Public Media)

TRANSMISSION: A controversial plan to build 16 miles of high voltage power lines to service a growing area of Bellevue, Washington, has divided the community. (Seattle Times)

COAL:
• Wyoming’s governor says he’s asked the attorney general to investigate a legal strategy to sue Washington state over its efforts to block a proposed coal terminal. (WyoFile)
• Colorado environmentalists worry a Colorado Springs coal plant will push the city over federal limits for ozone pollution this summer. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A major ride sharing company offers free electric vehicle charging for its drivers in Portland starting in July. (Mashable)

TRANSPORTATION: Clean fuels advocates regroup in Washington after legislation seeking to establish a low-carbon fuels standard falls short. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

HYDROPOWER: An effort to add hydropower to the legal definition of renewable energy stalls in California’s legislature. (Bay Area News Group)

PIPELINES: A South Dakota utility begins work on a 4.5 mile natural gas pipeline through Laramie, Wyoming. (Daily Energy Insider)

PUBLIC LANDS: Two national monuments in Utah remain in limbo as legislation stalls that would have codified President Trump’s executive order to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. (Salt Lake Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The people of central and northern California “deserve more than they’ve gotten from PG&E,” says the utility’s new CEO. (Sacramento Bee)

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