Western Energy News

New Mexico governor effectively kills bill restoring solar tax credits

SOLAR: New Mexico’s governor declines to sign a bill that would have restored a tax credit aimed at offsetting costs for solar customers. (Associated Press)

ALSO: The latest report from Texas’s grid operator shows that solar energy will be the largest source of new generation capacity in coming months and will help meet predicted record summer demand for electricity. (PV Magazine)

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CLIMATE: At an energy conference in Houston, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says climate change is the biggest issue facing the industry. (Houston Chronicle)

MEANWHILE: At the same event, Energy Secretary Rick Perry calls the shift away from fossil fuels “immoral” and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claims wind turbines have a “significant” carbon impact and are better suited for rooftops. (Houston Chronicle, Time)

COAL:
• Utah’s largest coal producer is seeking a tax royalty reduction from the federal government, but won’t publicly disclose the amount. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Meanwhile, Utah lawmakers include $1.65 million in the state budget to sue California over new rules that will phase out coal there. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla’s electric trucks make their debut delivery run, hauling batteries from Nevada to California. (Ars Technica)

WIND: Opposition is forming in Arkansas to the massive Wind Catcher project slated to be built in Oklahoma, but it does have one powerful ally in the state: Walmart. (KUAR)

OIL AND GAS:
• Colorado lawmakers strike down a bill that would have required oil and gas companies to prove their operations don’t adversely affect human health or contribute to climate change. (Greeley Tribune)
Environmentalists and oil and gas industry groups are anxiously waiting to see if Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delays more lease sales, including upcoming ones in Colorado and Utah. (E&E News, subscription)
The head of a trade group touting the economic benefits of capturing methane emissions tells officials in New Mexico that energy companies are losing out on millions in potential revenue. (Albuquerque Journal)
Royal Dutch Shell and Anadarko Petroleum rebound from a spat over a joint venture in the Permian Basin and company officials now say they are positioned for growth in the oil rich region of Texas and New Mexico. (Houston Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: A Utah utility awards $1.8 million in grants to fund renewable energy projects around the state. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY: Xcel Energy’s plan to shift its portfolio away from fossil fuels won’t save Colorado ratepayers money, says the executive director of a libertarian think tank in Denver. (The Hill)

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