Western Energy News

Millions to retrain Montana coal workers goes unspent

COAL: A $2 million grant to retrain workers at a Montana coal plant has gone unspent for two years, and state officials say the plant’s operator is to blame. (Billings Gazette)

ALSO:
After months of upheaval, analysts are uncertain about the future of Wyoming’s coal industry. (Casper Star-Tribune)
The last workers at an Arizona coal mine are being laid off this month. (Cronkite News)

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CLIMATE: Building decarbonization is gaining momentum in California. (Greentech Media)

PUBLIC LANDS: A plan released Friday clears the way for mining and drilling on lands near a Utah national monument. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
Walmart and Tesla say they are in settlement talks over the retailer’s solar panel lawsuit, as Amazon says a Tesla installation was to blame for a 2018 fire at one of its facilities. (Bloomberg)
Developers of a combined solar/geothermal plant in Nevada seek an exemption from utility regulations. (Nevada Independent)
A Nevada bill would help make solar more accessible to low-income households. (Las Vegas Sun)
A study finds a major income gap in solar adoption in California. (news release)

STORAGE: A Hawaii utility is seeking proposals for 900 MW of “dispatchable renewables” and storage. (Greentech Media)

NATURAL GAS:
Officials in a central California county push back against plans to phase out natural gas. (Bakersfield Californian)
A climate coalition in a California city is pushing for changes to building codes to encourage all-electric homes. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
The Trump administration is moving forward with plans to allow drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve. (Anchorage Daily News)
Advocates raise questions about water consumption at a proposed Utah frac sand mine. (Salon)

NUCLEAR: Utilities backing a plan to develop small modular reactors hope the facilities can help them transition as coal plants shut down. (Post Register)

TRANSMISSION: Planning costs for a new transmission line in Oregon and Idaho have already hit $100 million. (East Oregonian)

GRID: A California utility’s new emergency operations center helps determine where power will be shut off to avoid wildfire risk. (Desert Sun)

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ACTIVISM:
Advocacy groups in Oregon seek to confirm reports that law enforcement have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas project, which would be a violation of state law. (Oregonian)
Op-ed pieces from state lawmakers supporting the project were heavily edited by an oil and gas industry group. (HuffPost)

COMMENTARY:
A county official in Nevada says development of renewable energy on public lands should see bipartisan support. (Las Vegas Sun)
An Alaska housing advocate says it’s critical for the state to continue energy-efficiency research. (Arctic Sounder)

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