Western Energy News

Navajo leaders say they weren’t informed about coal deal

COAL: Navajo leaders say they were never informed about Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s purchase of Cloud Peak’s Wyoming coal mines, and it “cannot and should not be supported.” (Navajo Times)

ALSO:
Some analysts and members of the Navajo Nation are skeptical of a new study deeming the Cloud Peak deal a “prudent” decision. (Billings Gazette)
• The employee attrition rate at a New Mexico coal plant is rising in advance of a planned 2022 closure; the owner says it may need to contract with outside sources for some operations if the trend continues. (Farmington Daily Times)

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OVERSIGHT: California Governor Gavin Newsom stuns environmental advocates by vetoing a bill that would have made it easier for state regulators to counter the Trump administration’s rollback of clean air and endangered species regulations. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
New photographic evidence shows “tree contact” with two PG&E power lines, suggesting fault lies with the bankrupt utility for a devastating California wildfire in 2017. (NBC Bay Area)
PG&E’s largest union opposes San Francisco’s $2.5 billion plan to take over local power lines, saying it will hurt workers. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Wildfire prevention in California is challenged by contractors hired to clear vegetation around power lines increasingly turning to other work due to higher fire insurance costs because of potential liability in later disasters. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada is advancing its Electric Highway project, aiming to build charging stations along the desolate Las Vegas to Reno route and other rural highways. (Nevada Public Radio)

SOLAR:
Xcel Energy says a new 240 MW solar farm at a Pueblo, Colorado steel mill should be up and running by 2021. (Denver Post)
Farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley see solar farms as a lucrative new cash crop to counter chronic water shortages and as water supplies shrink under the states groundwater law. (Sacramento Bee)

OIL & GAS:
The Interior Department says a comment denying a “climate crisis” had “no bearing” on its broader assessment of the environmental impact of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (E&E News)
A new report says increased energy development boosted Wyoming’s economic growth during the second quarter. (Casper Star-Tribune)
New Mexico oil and gas officials urge President Trump to not increase renewable fuel requirements. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Parcels in Colorado sage grouse areas were among those auctioned off by the Interior Department for oil and gas drilling last week despite objections, netting  $601K. (Denver Post)
Volunteers from major oil and gas companies worked with the Interior Department to restore Carlsbad, Colorado’s public land as part of the agency’s National Public Lands Day events. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

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OFFSHORE WIND: Researchers are exploring the feasibility of undersea transmission tracking of Northern California’s coastline as a solution for transmission infrastructure issues hindering the region’s offshore wind development. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
A Utah clean energy advocacy organization says climate solutions must benefit all Utah communities, and creating new economic opportunities for the next generation is integral to this. (Deseret News)
A Nevada conservationist says the state’s public lands are worth fighting for against out-of-state oil and gas exploration. (Las Vegas Sun)
Citing several western states, a columnist says the U.S must rebuild its uranium mining industry. (Boston Herald)

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