Western Energy News

Los Angeles County adopts plan to phase out fossil fuels

FOSSIL FUELS: Los Angeles County adopts a sustainability plan that calls for phasing out fossil fuels over the next 30 years. (City News Service, Curbed LA)

COAL: A federal judge approves the sale of two Wyoming coal mines from bankrupt Blackjewel to Contura Energy, which has promised to reinstate 500 jobs at the sites. (Star-Tribune)

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STORAGE: An Arizona utilities commissioner says lithium-ion batteries in large-scale energy storage projects “create unacceptable risks,” following a battery storage fire in the state earlier this year. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A study by Hawaiian electric utilities finds that 3,600 public chargers are needed by 2030 to meet the state’s growing EV demand, in addition to nearly 50,000 private chargers at homes and businesses. (DailyEnergyInsider)
• A Hawaiian tour and transportation company that launched a fleet of electric-powered buses in April receives an award for promoting renewable energy. (Pacific Business News)

OIL & GAS:
• Greater sage grouse populations fall for a third consecutive year in at least three western states — a trend environmentalists have linked to a spike in drilling activity under the Trump administration. (WyoFile)
• The vice president of an oil refinery outside Denver defends the facility’s track record on air-pollution during a city council meeting. (Westword)
• Wyoming native William Perry Pendley — an outspoken proponent of expanding mining, oil and gas development on federal land — is appointed acting head of the Bureau of Land Management. (Associated Press)
• Oil terminal operators gave false information to Portland mayoral aides about receiving, storing and shipping tar sands crude, according to handwritten notes from a meeting in March. (The Oregonian)
• Some Republican state legislators in Alaska say they are open to discussing increases to oil taxes as a potential solution for the state’s budget crisis. (Anchorage Daily News)

GRID: Sonoma County leaders brace residents for PG&E’s new wildfire prevention plan, which could lead to prolonged blackouts for thousands of homes. (The Press Democrat)

SOLAR: Denver-based Pivot Energy wins a bid to develop 25 MW of new community solar in Colorado. (news release)

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UTILITIES:
• NV Energy agrees to pay a Nevada county $1.1 million annually for promising not to leave the utility for another electric provider. (The Nevada Independent)
• Southern California Gas officials fail to show up for a public hearing on the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak, which forced thousands of residents to leave their homes. (Los Angeles Daily News)
• NorthWestern Energy used faulty reasoning to avoid developing community renewable energy projects as required by state law, according to a ruling by a Montana judge. (Billings Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• New Mexico’s governor announces she will work to reform the state’s Public Regulation Commission in the next legislative session, saying the move “is urgently needed to help restore sound decision-making.” (news release)
• Washington state’s elected officials should use caution before mandating programs to reduce carbon emissions from cars and power plants, because they could lead to unintended consequences, says the former president of the Association of Washington Business. (The Columbian)
• An upcoming investigation into PG&E’s involvement in a number of California wildfires will likely be another “phony investigation” that lets the utility off the hook, says a columnist for The Ukiah Daily Journal.
• The environmental coordinator for the city of Carpinteria, California, advocates for community choice energy as a means to deliver cheaper, greener electricity to customers. (Coastal View)

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