Western Energy News

Navajo Nation won’t back tribal energy company’s coal mines

COAL: The Navajo Nation’s president says the tribe will not financially back bonds the Navajo Transitional Energy Company needs for its newly acquired trio of Cloud Peak coal mines in Wyoming and Montana. (Associated Press)

ALSO: The conflict over a coal export terminal in Oakland, California, represents a deeper rift between land-locked Western fossil fuel-producing states and coastal states over climate policies and commerce. (InsideClimate News)

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OIL & GAS:
A new study links an increased rate of earthquake activity in the Permian Basin with oil and gas production. (E&E News, subscription)
A federal lawsuit aims to block a $2 billion methanol refinery, shipping terminal, and pipeline project along the Columbia River in Washington state. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E’s bankruptcy hearing scheduled for today has been abruptly postponed to November 19. (Associated Press)
PG&E faces the federal judge overseeing company’s probation for safety lapses and gets approval to contribute $3 million to a fire mitigation project in San Bruno in lieu of performing its remaining service hours for gas pipeline safety violations. (Bloomberg/Bloomberg Law, subscription)
• California’s top utility regulator threatens hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against PG&E over its alleged mishandling of power shut-offs; the commission votes today on whether to open an investigation. (NBC Bay Area, Associated Press)
A California state senator is set to introduce a bill early next year requiring PG&E to become a government-owned utility. (San Francisco Chronicle)

MICROGRIDS:
• PG&E blackouts could catalyze the market for community-scale microgrids in outage-prone California, but obstacles remain. (Greentech Media)
• A northern California microgrid could provide relief from planned utility power outages and be a template for other, similar projects. (Microgrid Knowledge)

NUCLEAR: Arizona water regulators reject an Arizona Public Service Company request to use groundwater to cool a nuclear power plant west of Phoenix because the water is being used by nearby residents. (Arizona Republic)

CLEAN ENERGY: Speaking at a summit on state and local progress toward 100% clean energy, the chair of California’s energy commission said “an enormous amount of authority still rests with states.” (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: A Southern California Gas Co. official urges Duarte’s city council to oppose any state regulation mandating building electrification, saying that gas can be generated from renewable sources. (InsideClimate News)

PUBLIC LANDS: Utah trust lands officials are concerned an expansion of trail-oriented recreation could prevent mineral development. (Salt Lake Tribune)

PIPELINES:
San Antonio is the latest city considering an anti-pipeline resolution because of the environmental impact of the growing number of proposed pipelines to move crude oil and natural gas from the Permian Basin. (Houston Chronicle)
Pipeline operator Oryx Midstream agrees to buy Targa Resources’ Permian Basin crude oil gathering pipelines and storage terminals for $135 million. (Houston Chronicle)

STORAGE:
Using the example of the Hawaiian island Molokai, a new study finds mountain gravity could eventually top lithium-ion for cheaper, longer energy storage. (Utility Dive)
Vivint Solar is expanding its residential storage offerings in California with a new power-purchase agreement packing batteries and solar into one monthly payment. (Greentech Media)

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SOLAR: California-based solar company Sunrun met expectations for solar installations in Q3 but fell behind on its annual installation goal. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: A financial analyst says looking beyond the headlines on Berkshire Hathaway’s rumored interest in buying PG&E reveals the distressed utility has the hallmarks of a spectacular Warren Buffett “coup.” (Motley Fool)

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