Western Energy News

New Mexico governor to sign 100% clean energy bill

RENEWABLES: New Mexico lawmakers pass a landmark energy bill committing state to using 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 while helping the state’s largest utility recoup its investment in a major coal-fired power plant. (Greentech Media, Santa Fe New Mexican)

UTILITIES:
• The outgoing chief of the Tennessee Valley Authority is PG&E’s top pick to become its next chief executive officer. (Los Angeles Times)
• The district attorney for Sonoma County, California won’t bring criminal charges against the state’s largest utility for a local wildfire started by its equipment in 2017. (The Press Democrat)

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NUCLEAR: Nevada is asking a federal judge to order the removal of a half ton of plutonium that was secretly shipped to the state last year by the U.S. Department of Energy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• An environmental group publishes leaked memos they say proves the federal government is “flying blind” with its plan to allow drilling in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska. (Alaska Public Media)
• The Colorado Senate gives preliminary approval to sweeping legislation seeking to overhaul oil and gas regulation on the state. (Denver Post)
• Colorado regulators approve a controversial drilling project in a Denver suburb but concede the state’s “forced pooling” laws are outdated. (Associated Press)
• Landowners in southeastern Wyoming again accuse a major oil and gas company of failing to develop the vast amount of mineral leases it holds in the region. (Casper Star Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION:
• EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler rules out future negotiations between the federal government and California over proposed changes to vehicle emission standards, blaming state politics for the failure to reach a deal. (The Hill)
• Las Vegas tourism officials vote to continue talks with an Elon Musk-owned company to build an underground tunnel to move people through the city in autonomous vehicles. (Bloomberg)
• Hawaii transportation officials are planning a series of meetings to gather input on a plan to swap a gas tax for a road usage fee to fund maintenance and repairs. (Hawaii News Now)

CLIMATE:
• Nevada agrees to meet the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement, joining 22 other states pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (The Nevada Independent)

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PUBLIC LANDS: A proposal made by the former Interior Secretary to shrink national monuments in Oregon and Nevada is in limbo as Democrats prepare to scrutinize President Trump’s review of 27 national monuments. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A woman who lost her husband and brother in a gas line explosion says her support of legislation seeking to overhaul oil and gas regulation in Colorado should not be seen as an effort to put the industry out of business. (Denver Post)
• PG&E’s bankruptcy presents a perfect opportunity for California to get the 21st century utility it needs, says a former state utility regulator and a former state grid official. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• New Mexico utility regulators should be selected at-large using a similar process to judicial appointments, say two current state utility regulators. (Albuquerque Journal)

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