Western Energy News

Los Angeles-Navajo partnership could spark clean energy revolution

CLEAN ENERGY: A clean energy partnership between Los Angeles and the Navajo Nation could be transformational for both parties. (Earther)

ALSO: A Colorado lawyers’ network has released a resource guide for municipalities in the state aiming to reach a goal of 100% renewable energy. (Colorado Politics)

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CALIFORNIA:
A committee of California wildfire victims want PG&E’s bankruptcy judge to allow them to sue former shareholders of the utility to protect up to an estimated $2 billion worth of claims. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
PG&E has begun clearing trees and vegetation in a California regional park to avoid fires near a 40-foot exposed natural gas pipeline. (East Bay Times)

CLIMATE:
Salt Lake City’s mayor addresses climate change and environmental impact in her first State of the City speech. (Deseret News)
An Oregon case weighs whether climate change is urgent enough to justify a crime — in this case, blocking access to an oil facility. (InsideClimate News)

COAL:
• A coal technology firm announces it’s cleared another major hurdle towards obtaining a permit to open Wyoming’s first new coal mine in decades. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Montana’s largest utility says early coal plant closures raise the probability of blackouts. (Montana Public Radio)
• A new poll reveals Utah residents support early retirements for Rocky Mountain Power’s coal-fired power plants in favor of using renewable energy sources. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• A federal appeals court ruled the Trump administration wrongly opened 5,000 acres of Colorado forest to coal mining. (news release)

OIL & GAS:
Well Fargo is the third major bank to end supporting financing for oil and gas projects in the Arctic. (Anchorage Daily News)
An Alaska study finds that thermal imaging used by oil exploration companies to detect polar bears in dens works less than half the time. (Associated Press)
Two workers were left with non-threatening injuries resulting from a fire at a Colorado compressor station. (Greeley Tribune) 

EMISSIONS: A Washington state senate committee is considering a bill requiring companies producing or transporting fuel to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change. (Spokesman-Review) 

HYDROGEN: Some advocates say green hydrogen power plants like Utah’s two-unit 840 MW combined cycle natural gas-H2 Intermountain Power Project may be the only way to meet power system needs in zero emissions scenarios. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION:
Alaska’s senate votes to double the state’s gas tax; the bill would also raise the state’s marine fuel tax and increase registration fees for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Anchorage Daily News)
Eight school districts in Alaska have received about $4.4 million to replace 33 diesel school buses across the state with clean-burning buses as part of the Volkswagen emissions settlement. (Juneau Empire)

SOLAR:
• Construction has started on the the first phase of California’s Westlands Solar Park project, which includes a 250-megawatt solar array. (Solar Power World)
• Construction recently began on the $60 million Turquoise Solar project in Sparks, Nevada. (Solar Builder)

EFFICIENCY: The City of Colorado Springs, Colorado recently started a six-month pilot program to test LED streetlights. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
The chair of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission says Republicans should fear climate change, not cap and trade. (Portland Business Journal)
A taxpayers advocacy group says several resource-rich western states have lost millions on royalty rates due to outdated federal oil and gas leasing policies. (The Hill)
A Washington conservationist says it’s important to support policies that protect the places that both birds and people need to survive in combating climate change. (Utility Dive)
A water & energy policy analyst questions whether new homeowners in California will be allowed to choose cheaper and cleaner conventional energy sources through local community choice energy programs. (California Globe)

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