Western Energy News

Montana coal plant units to closer sooner than expected

COAL: One of the owners of a financially struggling Montana coal plant said it will retire two units this year, more than two years ahead of schedule. (Billings Gazette)

UTILITIES:
• Arizona regulators have launched an inquiry into the rates and profit margins of the state’s largest utility after receiving a string of customer complaints. (Arizona Republic)
• The efforts by California’s largest utility to dump some of its clean energy contracts as part of a cost-cutting move could derail the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals, some advocates worry. (Sacramento Bee)

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SOLAR: Federal land managers in Nevada are taking public comments on the draft environmental impact statement for a 690 MW solar project, already drawing opposition from environmentalists concerned about its potential impacts on local wildlife. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• Oxnard, California stops a proposed gas plant and shows the rest of the state how it can end its reliance on fossil fuels and transition to clean energy. (HuffPost)
• A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit in California challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of safety measures put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Reuters)
• The sale of seven oil and gas leases on federal land in northwestern Utah raised about $35,000 and sparked protests from people concerned about the potential impact of drilling on migratory birds. (Deseret News)
• A California oil refinery that’s been on the market for four years sells for $1 billion. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: Colorado is set to launch a new climate unit within the state agency that regulates the environment. (Colorado Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California, Arizona and Nevada are among the states considering requiring electric vehicle charging stations to accept credit cards, a move one non-profit says could lead to a rise in cyber thefts. (The Hill)

BIOFUELS: The future of two trash incineration facilities in California is uncertain as the state looks to substantially reduce the amount of waste it produces. (Long Beach Post)

RENEWABLES: Fort Collins, Colorado won’t be able to meet its power demands through wind, solar and storage alone, according to a study from researchers at Colorado State University. (The Coloradoan)

GRID: California’s grid operator issues its first notice of the year asking residents to conserve energy as hot weather grips the state. (Sacramento Bee)

COMMENTARY: Idaho Power’s recent decision to transition to 100% clean energy by 2045 “is welcome news to those of us who want to see Idaho continue to attract and cultivate high-value businesses offering good-paying jobs,” says the vice president of a nuclear energy industry group. (Idaho Statesman)

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