Western Energy News

New Mexico joins climate alliance

CLIMATE: Citing “failed policies and a lack of science” at the federal level, New Mexico’s governor issues an executive order laying out several aggressive steps to combat climate change, including ordering state regulators to slash methane emissions from the state’s powerful oil and gas industry. (Albuquerque Journal, Reuters)

PG&E BANKRUPTCY:
• Legal experts say California wildfire victims are going to have to “take some sort of haircut on their claims” as a result of PG&E’s bankruptcy filing. (Associated Press)
• The union that represents PG&E’s 24,000 workers says it will oppose any effort to break up the bankrupt utility or make it publicly owned. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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UTILITIES: Nevada regulators are set to strike a serious blow to the state’s largest utility by allowing the Oakland Raiders to get electricity for their new $1.9 billion Las Vegas stadium from an outside provider without paying a hefty exit fee. (The Nevada Independent)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado environmental regulators are considering extending strict air quality rules for oil and gas development that currently apply to the greater Denver area to the entire state. (Denver Post)
• The Colorado Supreme Court is refusing to reconsider its ruling that oil and gas regulators don’t have to prioritize health and the environmental when issuing permits. (Associated Press)
• A Wyoming representative is proposing a 2,000 percent increase in drilling application fees to try to help solve the state’s permit backlog. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Legislation is introduced in New Mexico raising royalty rates on oil and gas development on state trust lands and requiring the payment of royalties on gas flaring. (Associated Press)
• Oregon lawmakers are poised to permanently ban offshore drilling. (Statesman Journal)

TRANSPORTATION:
• A group of Colorado car dealers is suing the state over its decision to adopt California’s more stringent vehicle emission standards. (Colorado Sun)
• An Arizona lawmaker files legislation to increase the state’s gasoline tax and increase fees on drivers of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. (Capitol Media Services)

COAL:
• Wyoming lawmakers advance a bill authorizing the state to sue Washington over its decision to block a crucial permit for a proposed coal export terminal. (Associated Press)
• A struggling Wyoming coal producer plans to offer its top executives lump sum bonuses to try to entice them to stay with the company. (Casper Star Tribune)

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SOLAR: A California solar developer has laid off about 20 percent of its workforce. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• Electric utilities and other businesses are going to have to rethink how they prepare for dangerous fire conditions and other impacts of climate change, says the former head of risk management at Goldman Sachs. (New York Times)
• PG&E’s bankruptcy filing should serve as a wake-up call for Arizona utilities which need to do more to confront climate change, says a former state utility regulator and a professor at Arizona State University. (Arizona Republic)
• The California vehicle emission standards will put auto ownership out of reach for most Americans, says the head of the Colorado car dealers association. (Denver Post)

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