Western Energy News

New Mexico, Washington seek to stop federal coal leases

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COAL: Washington and New Mexico are among four states trying to legally stop the Trump administration from selling coal mined from federal lands, a move their attorneys argue will worsen climate change and hurt residents. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Xcel Energy’s announcement that it will go carbon-free by 2050 casts uncertainty on the future of a northwestern Colorado coal-fired power plant that it operates and partially owns. (Steamboat Pilot)

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OIL & GAS:
• The oil and gas industry is behind a stealth campaign to roll back auto emission standards, a Trump administration maneuver that California and 13 other states have legally opposed. (New York Times)
• A controversial oil and gas lease sale of federal lands in Alaska nets $1.5 million. (The Hill)
• An oil and gas company’s plan to drill on private property near a neighborhood in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula is frustrating some residents who say they’ve been kept in the dark about the project. (Alaska Public Media)

UTILITIES: A southern California utility wants to charge customers who are leaving them to join a government-run energy provider $125 million in exit fees to cover extra costs it incurred this summer during a heat wave. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR:
• Some economists say California’s new rooftop solar mandate isn’t a cost-effective way curb greenhouse gas emissions. (Scientific American)
• County commissioners in Pueblo, Colorado reject a developer’s plan to build a 100 MW solar farm after nearby landowners expressed concerns the project would decrease local property values. (Pueblo Chieftain)

WIND: Federal ocean managers will gather public comments at a meeting in San Luis Obispo, California about plans to develop wind farms off the coast of California. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

PIPELINES: Oregon regulators consider the implications of a Canadian pipeline rupture in October that spiked local gas prices. (Willamette Week)

CALIFORNIA FIRES: In filings to California regulators, PG&E offers new information about its transmission tower that is the focus of the investigation into the deadly Camp Fire. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts explains why California’s cap and trade system isn’t working and how the state’s oil and gas industry has a lot to do with it. (Vox)
• The Rocky Mountain Institute says Xcel Energy’s recent decision to be carbon-free by 2050 is proof that the American power sector is realizing that replacing coal with lower cost renewables will benefit customers and make systems more resilient. (Green Biz)
• The market, not government mandates, will likely determine how we fight climate change, says an Arizona columnist. (Arizona Republic)

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