Western Energy News

Navajo Nation divided over new investment in coal

COAL: The Navajo Nation is doubling down on coal with its takeover of Cloud Peak mines in the Powder River Basin, as pressure to embrace solar and wind energy grows on and off the tribe’s reservation. (E&E News)

HYDROPOWER: The independent federal agency that sells electricity produced by Columbia River dams is $15 billion in debt and struggling with an aging infrastructure expected to cost $300 million to maintain and upgrade by 2023. (E&E News)

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OIL & GAS:
• A top Trump-appointed Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska is joining a foreign oil company expanding its operations on the state’s North Slope. (Washington Post)
• A new study commissioned by oil and gas industry trade groups says New Mexico’s oil boom is expected to continue, with almost $200 billion in new infrastructure to be invested in the Permian Basin through 2030. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• Adams County is the first Colorado community to tighten its oil and gas extraction regulations since the passage of the state’s industry reform bill earlier this year. (Denver Post)
• Colorado State University researchers are testing the air quality in a Denver suburb to see what impact there might be for neighborhoods downwind of oil and gas sites. (KUSA)

NUCLEAR:
• Energy professionals say Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is unlikely to receive funding due to the focus on the 2020 election. (Las Vegas Sun)
• A state committee is gathering in Casper, Wyoming this week to consider temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel to help offset declining coal revenues. (Casper Star-Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: A coalition of community organizers in northeast Oregon has announced its continued opposition to the proposed 300-mile B2H Transmission line. (Argus Observer)

UTILITIES: PG&E tells a federal judge that it has already sought to rectify the flaws in its tree-trimming program around power lines described recently by a court-appointed monitor that were consistent with the company’s own internal findings. (San Francisco Chronicle) 

SOLAR: A California utility is seeking to nearly quadruple its monthly fixed charge, claiming that solar customers aren’t paying their fair share for the grid. (PV Magazine)

WIND: Construction is complete on the 220 MW Grady Wind facility in Curry County, New Mexico. (news release)

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ANALYSIS: Many of the major presidential candidate’s climate proposals are already underway in California, but assessing the creation of “green jobs” remains an elusive proposition. (Politico)

COMMENTARY:
• A nonprofit trade association says that with the right policies in place, wind energy economic development opportunities and well-paying careers can continue to grow. (Albuquerque Journal)
• A nonprofit professional association for the geothermal industry and community says that geothermal energy holds great promise for California, especially its deserts. (The Desert Sun)
• A clean energy campaigner says Nevada’s Senate Bill 299, which established the state’s first electric school bus pilot program, is a success for low-income families in communities of color. (Las Vegas Sun)
• A community leader in Chico, California, who helped with the response efforts to the 2018 Camp Fire says the state’s legislature should not support PG&E’s hedge fund-backed plan. (CalMatters)

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