Western Energy News

Nevada carbon-neutral industrial park would be largest in U.S.

CLEAN ENERGY: A recently announced industrial park in Nevada, potentially a $3 billion project, would be the largest in the U.S. completely powered by local renewable energy. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A Republican Montana state senator wants the state to do study on the merits of small modular nuclear reactors as a clean energy solution. (Helena Independent Record)

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UTILITIES: A San Diego utility will return $51.6 million to customers over a mismanaged program that lost track of millions of high-efficiency light bulbs. (San Diego Union Tribune)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• Western ranchers are split over the Trump administration’s decision to move the Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction, Colorado, with one noting the remote city is “darn hard to get to.” (The Guardian)
• Native American groups say a new official portrait of former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wearing what appears to be beadwork on his hatband “is the last gasp of a fading swamp creature” who has disregarded their land rights. (HuffPost)

OIL & GAS:
Drilling companies’ efforts to tap a naturally occurring underground carbon dioxide reservoir in New Mexico for oil extraction face opposition from neighbors and environmental groups. (New Mexico Political Report)
Two environmental groups sue over a fund established to help rural Utah communities recover from oil drilling they say is instead going back into the industry. (The Guardian)
A Colorado climate advocate supports Boulder County’s strengthened rules and regulations for oil and gas development, citing the region’s poor air quality. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

OVERSIGHT: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis names Eric Blank, a former community solar developer, to chair the state’s Public Utilities Commission. (Mountain Town News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Tesla is reportedly shutting down production of its Model S and Model X vehicles at its California factory for nearly three weeks beginning December 24. (CNBC)
A prototype of Amazon’s new electric delivery van has been spotted testing near the company’s Irvine, California facility. (Electrek)   

SOLAR: A Sunrun official says Honolulu’s new ordinance aiming to automate and expedite the city’s solar and storage permitting process “can stimulate the economy with zero funds.” (PV Magazine)

BIOENERGY: A partnership between a Washington indigenous community and a dairy farm will double the capacity of a biodigester that generates electricity for a local utility. (Daily Herald)

EFFICIENCY: A mostly mass timber office building planned for downtown Portland, Oregon is to be built to the Living Building standard, the hardest benchmark to achieve in energy efficiency. (Portland Tribune, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
A Nevada editorial board explains why Gov. Steve Sisolak’s climate plan should not be ignored. (Las Vega Sun)
Two Colorado local government officials say the state’s decision to accelerate power plant retirement dates could potentially harm communities. (Colorado Politics)

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