Western Energy News

Natural gas bans draw skepticism from utility regulators

ELECTRIFICATION: Utility regulators urge caution as the movement by cities to ban natural gas in new construction gains momentum, with a former California official saying transportation should be the larger focus. (Platts)

COAL: U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette wants to work with Canada and Mexico to export U.S. coal to Asia and get around West Coast states that have blocked permits for coal shipments due to climate concerns. (Reuters)

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BIOENERGY:
Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would require utilities to source renewable natural gas from dairies, landfills and other sources. (Energy News Network)
A recent report suggests California power plants could convert wood from forests and orchards into liquid or hydrogen fuels while capturing their carbon. (Grist)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E is seeking approval for rate increases from California regulators to cover reimbursement for fire-prevention work, the utility’s response to some extreme weather, and higher-than-expected insurance costs in recent years. (San Francisco Chronicle)
San Francisco city officials have launched a campaign to encourage public support for buying PG&E’s local wires and taking over service within the city. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

EFFICIENCY: A California utility says its energy efficiency programs saved customers $55 million on their gas bills last year. (NBC Los Angeles)

CLIMATE: An Oregon timber industry group suggests planting trees as an alternative to cap and trade legislation. (KATU) 

WASTE TO ENERGY: An Oregon county has asked the state legislature to designate the electricity produced by its garbage incinerator as a form of renewable energy. (Statesman Journal)

NUCLEAR: A New Mexico House committee advanced legislation opposing the transportation and storage of high-level nuclear waste in the state. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

STORAGE:
California is among states urging federal courts to uphold FERC orders allowing energy storage to compete in wholesale energy markets. (Solar Power World)
• A California State University campus is piloting a panel-level energy storage solution across its buildings. (Energy Storage News)

SOLAR: Solar contractors added 1.8 GW of small-scale solar last year in the ten states with the greatest solar resources, with Hawaii extending its lead. (PV Magazine)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Oregon has resumed processing applications for rebates on the purchase of new or used electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles for lower-income buyers. (OPB)
A new report suggests that Tesla’s massive Nevada Gigafactory is helping the company extend its lead over other automakers. (CNBC)

COMMENTARY:
The Rocky Mountain Institute suggests an Arizona utility’s pledge to go carbon free by 2050 is indicative of the accelerating demise of coal in the West. (GreenBiz)
A columnist says that President Trump’s reversal on reviving Nevada’s Yucca nuclear waste site is an attempt to win Nevada in the 2020 election. (Forbes)

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