Western Energy News

Los Angeles secures record low prices for solar plus storage 

SOLAR: Los Angeles has struck a deal on the largest and cheapest solar plus storage project in the world, which will provide 7% of the city’s electrical demand. (Forbes)

POLITICS:
• Republicans returned to the Oregon Senate on Saturday ending a nine-day walkout over a cap-and-trade bill which was sent back to committee and effectively killed for the session. (Associated Press)
• One of the 11 Republicans that fled Oregon to derail a landmark climate bill received $21,000 in campaign contributions from Koch Industries, which owns two mills that would have been impacted by the legislation. (The Oregonian)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• California air quality regulators voted to require fleet operators to use zero emission shuttles at the state’s largest airports by 2035. (Greentech Media)
• Current and former employers say Tesla is working to develop its own battery cells at a California lab, a move that could help the company offer cheaper and better electric vehicles. (CNBC)

UTILITIES:
• California’s largest utility is lobbying for legislation that would allow the bankrupt company to securitize some of its profits to pay for past wildfire damages. (Bloomberg)
• California lawmakers have introduced legislation creating a special fund to temporarily shield the state’s utilities from wildfire liabilities. (San Francisco Chronicle)

OIL & GAS:
A $43 billion liquefied natural gas project proposed for Alaska would help the state’s economy and possibly harm the environment, according to an environmental impact statement by federal energy regulators. (Reuters)
• A Colorado appeals court has dismissed a libel suit brought by a Texas oil and gas company against a local activist, determining the lawsuit was an attempt to stifle free speech. (Associated Press)
• Federal land managers unveil a plan to declare more than 800,000 acres in western Colorado open to drilling, angering environmentalists who say they ignored public opinion. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Legislation requiring railroad companies to be better prepared for oil spills is heading to Oregon’s governor to sign. (The Oregonian)
• A northern Colorado county moves closer to establishing regulations for local oil and gas operations. (Greeley Tribune)

COAL: A Montana tribe is asking federal lawmakers to make a coal tax credit permanent. (Billings Gazette)

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RESEARCH:
• A recent change in California’s low carbon-fuel standard is incentivizing a new technology that removes carbon dioxide from the air that’s being financially backed by a major oil company. (Quartz)
• A Dutch video game designer and entrepreneur has created an off-the-grid lab in Hawaii devoted to renewable energy research. (Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• The time is ripe for a thorough overhaul of the state commission that regulates utilities in Arizona through a constitutional amendment, says a columnist for the Arizona Republic.
• A recent suggestion that Nevada residents be paid “rent” for storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain “is offensive” and “assumes that we are stupid,” says the leader of a state nuclear waste task force. (Nevada Sun)

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