Western Energy News

Los Angeles abandons plans to rebuild natural gas plants

OIL & GAS: The mayor of Los Angeles is backing off plans to spend billions of dollars upgrading three natural gas plants along the coast as the city shifts toward clean energy. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced legislation prohibiting drilling in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska. (The Hill)
• New Mexico lawmakers introduce legislation restoring state oil and gas regulators’ authority to impose fines on drillers, a responsibility that shifted to the attorney general’s office after a 2009 court ruling. (New Mexico In Depth)

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SOLAR: California remains the country’s solar leader but also saw the biggest saw some of the biggest job losses in 2018, according to a new industry report. (InsideClimate News)

UTILITIES: California’s largest utility says it will remove half of its board members this spring in an effort to restore the public’s trust. (Sacramento Bee)

COAL:
• A Montana coal plant could be at risk of closing earlier than planned if the owner of the local mine raises the price of coal as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. (Bloomberg)
• The first coal plant to open in the U.S. since 2015 is set to go online in April at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where school officials say using coal is not ideal but point to a lack of options given its remote location. (Bloomberg)

WIND: The developer of New Mexico’s largest wind farm plans to finish the last phase of the project by early summer. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

NUCLEAR: A Utah startup is proposing to build a 30 MW molten salt nuclear reactor in the heart of the state’s coal country. (Deseret News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The U.S. Postal Service has added seven new electric delivery trucks to its fleet in California’s Central Valley. (Digital Journal)
• A New Mexico startup breaks ground on the construction of a electric vehicle charging station in Albuquerque, marking the start of the company’s plan to install a network of stations in the Southwest. (Albuquerque Journal)

CARBON: A Utah lawmaker introduces legislation creating a carbon tax but says the chances of passing the bill this year are “not great.” (Utah Policy)

POLITICS: Wyoming’s congressional delegation sees the Green New Deal as  “the first step down a dark path to socialism.” (Casper Star Tribune)

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PUBLIC LANDS:
• A Republican Senator from Colorado has played a major role in shepherding a bipartisan package of public lands legislation expected to get a vote next week in the U.S. Senate. (Denver Post)
• The U.S. Senate blocks a plan by a Utah lawmaker that would have prohibited presidents from designating national monuments in Utah. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: A carbon tax dividends proposal opens up a Pandora’s Box of problems for proponents of limited government, says an economics professor at California Polytechnic State University. (The Hill)

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