Western Energy News

Montana Supreme Court hands another victory to solar developers

SOLAR: For a second time in a month, Montana’s Supreme Court rules against state regulators on a solar project, this time saying the PSC “chose unlawful methodologies” that made a proposed 80 MW project uneconomical. (Billings Gazette)

ALSO: California officials grant exceptions for solar projects in a decision to grant temporary endangered status to the Joshua tree. (Los Angeles Times)

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CLIMATE:
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says he believes forest management issues are a more significant factor than climate change in Western wildfires. (The Hill)
Whether or not Colorado is doing well with climate policy and programs depends on the states it is compared to, experts say. (Colorado Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Tesla says new battery technology will enable it to produce a $25,000 mass-market electric car. (Washington Post)
An official with Arizona electric truck firm Nikola seeks to clarify what the company does and doesn’t do amid its founder’s departure. (FreightWaves)

CALIFORNIA:
Rolling blackouts and wildfires driven by climate change are among the issues making California Gov Gavin Newsom’s role “the worst job in state politics.” (San Francisco Chronicle, Politico)
A county judge issues an injunction temporarily stopping PG&E’s removal of more than 260 trees in a Northern California city as part of its wildfire mitigation efforts. (news release)

CLEAN ENERGY: The economic potential of Colorado’s clean energy industry continues to be high despite job losses because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Business Times of Western Colorado)

GRID:
• Xcel Energy invests $7.1 in Carlsbad, New Mexico’s power grid as it increases the use of renewable energy in accordance with company goals. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• An energy research consultancy says California’s distributed energy resources could offer grid services that traditional demand response programs can’t. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico oil and gas leaders and environmentalists continue to criticize the state’s proposed methane rules. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
An energy investment company is investing $8.5 million in developing Shell Oil Permian Basin assets. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Xcel Energy tells Colorado regulators the company is not ready to electrify large numbers of gas-fueled compressor stations. (Denver Business Journal)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet introduces a bill that would create a multi-billion dollar program to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells. (Houston Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says the state has benefited from the Trump administration’s energy policies. (Sweetwater Now)
An Energy Bar Association member says a ban on future oil and gas leasing on federal lands would hurt News Mexico as nearly half of its oil and 67% of its natural gas comes from such activity. (Las Cruces Sun News)

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