Western Energy News

Major Powder River Basin coal mine to begin shutting down next year

COAL: In a quarterly earnings call this morning, Arch Coal announces it will begin shutting down its Coal Creek mine in Wyoming next year and reduce production at the nearby Black Thunder mine; the company had previously signaled the move but had not set a timeline. (news release, WyoFile)

ALSO:
• Court records show another Powder River Basin mine in Montana ceased production last month as its owner files for bankruptcy. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A Montana coal mine owned by the non-Native run Navajo Transitional Energy Company could be more trouble than it’s worth for the Navajo Nation as a whole. (Gizmodo)
• A Powder River Basin attorney is investigating bankrupt coal company Blackjewel and its “shady” former CEO. (Gillette News Record, subscription)
• Wyoming lawmakers finalize bills to make it easier for local governments to collect unpaid taxes from bankrupt mining companies. (WyoFile)
• Economic fallout from the closure of the Navajo Generating Station will provide an early test for the Biden administration environmental justice. (E&E News)

TRANSPORTATION: A federal court pauses litigation over a Trump administration rule limiting California’s authority to set vehicle emissions standards as the Biden administration seeks to change course. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Researchers find that electric cars in California are driven about half as much as their gasoline counterparts, with range limitations being a possible explanation. (E&E News)
A California Energy Commission spokesperson says the state is on the right track with its investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, and the North Bay region is getting on board. (North Bay Business Journal) 

OIL & GAS:
The U.S. Department of Commerce upholds Oregon’s decision to deny a key permit for the controversial Jordan Cove liquified gas project. (Courthouse News Service)
Kern County, California planning officials are set to reconsider an oil and gas zoning ordinance this week. (KERO)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Montana Sen. Steve Daines says U.S. Rep. Deb Halaand is “too radical” to lead the Interior Department, but he expressed no such concern over former acting BLM leader William Perry Pendley, who has a history of ridiculing Native Americans. (HuffPost)
Colorado U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert introduces a bill aiming to overturn President Biden’s indefinite ban of federal oil and gas leasing and other fossil fuel executive orders. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
Alaska U.S. Senators also aim to challenge President Biden’s executive orders through a number of measures including protest votes against cabinet nominees. (Alaska Public Media)
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon meets with state lawmakers to review possible responses to President Biden’s moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal lands. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

CLEAN ENERGY: Arizona Republicans have filed additional bills aimed at undermining a regulatory order requiring 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. (Greentech Media)

GRID: Advocates say a proposed undersea transmission line will be key for reliability as California transitions to clean energy, but state leaders are failing to support the project. (Los Angeles Times)

OFFSHORE WIND: A Northern California recreation and conservation district is considering redesigning its port to accommodate a major offshore wind project. (Lost Coast Outpost)

UTILITIES: PG&E is set to spend $6 billion by the end of next year on replacing old power equipment and wildfire mitigation initiatives. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) 

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