Western Energy News

New Mexico lawmakers unveil plan to wean the state off fossil fuels

RENEWABLES: Lawmakers in New Mexico introduce a sweeping energy bill requiring the state’s public utilities to use more clean energy over the next 20 years while phasing out fossil fuels. (Albuquerque Journal)

ALSO:
• A western Colorado electric co-op announces plans to deliver a 60 percent mix of clean energy to its customers by 2030, a goal doubling the amount of renewable power in its current portfolio. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Utah’s first and only food waste digester opens to the public, the first facility of its kind the state that can convert scraps into energy on a large scale. (Deseret News)

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COAL: A Wyoming landowners’ group is suing the state for failing to prove how a coal company has enough collateral to support future cleanup costs. (Casper Star Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• An Interior Department official confirms there won’t be any seismic testing this winter at an Alaska national wildlife refuge where federal land managers still plan to proceed with a controversial oil and gas lease sale. (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)
• Alaska’s governor wants to remove the head of a state oil and gas watchdog agency who he claims typically works no more than four hours a day. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)
• County officials in the heart of Colorado’s oil and gas country won’t endorse federal lawmakers’ plan to block drilling on pristine land within a national forest. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

NUCLEAR: Nevada officials go back to court to stop the federal government from shipping plutonium to the state again. (Las Vegas Sun)

SOLAR:
• A California company has resumed full production at an Oregon manufacturing facility that makes solar panels. (PV magazine)
• The electric vehicle research lab at Utah State University has installed the largest solar array on campus. (Utah Statesman)

CARBON: Oregon lawmakers are trying again to put a cap on carbon emissions as it is becoming increasingly clear the state won’t meet its climate goals. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES: California’s three investor-owned utilities may be losing their monopolies over state markets as competition with government-run power providers heats up. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Grants help the transit agency serving Missoula, Montana buy six electric buses. (Missoula Current)

COMMENTARY:
• As the nation transitions away from fossil fuels, Utah’s coal country needs an economic development transition plan that is well-researched, locally led and broadly supported, says the assistant dean of the University of Utah’s business school. (Deseret News)
• Michael Bloomberg says PG&E’s bankruptcy should prompt other companies to begin identifying the financial risks posed by climate change. (Los Angeles Times)
• California officials should urge PG&E to honor $34 billion worth of renewable energy contracts to help the state meet its climate targets, the leaders of two national clean energy associations say. (Sacramento Bee)

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