Western Energy News

Oil companies lose bid to move climate suits to federal court

CLIMATE: A U.S. Court of Appeals rules climate lawsuits by California cities and counties can proceed in state court instead of a federal venue thought to be more favorable to the energy industry. (Associated Press)

GRID: Hawaii’s largest utility is planning a 185 MW solar/storage project to offset the closure of the state’s last coal-fired power plant. (Greentech Media)

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PUBLIC LANDS: A federal judge cancels oil and gas leases on 470 square miles of federal land in Montana and Wyoming, ruling the BLM did not do enough to protect greater sage grouse. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: Democratic attorneys general led by California and New York have been largely successful in lawsuits to halt Trump administration efforts to roll back Obama-era climate and environmental regulations. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS: A Montana nonprofit started by a former oil worker is plugging dormant wells in an effort to stem greenhouse gas emissions. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

NATURAL GAS:
• Los Altos, California’s attempt to ban natural gas could be in jeopardy if the state decides the vote of the city’s mayor, who is also CEO of a nonprofit energy cooperative, would be a conflict of interest. (Daily Post)
• The City of San Diego’s new municipal utility may have to spend millions on natural gas-fired power it doesn’t want because of a state law aiming to ensure the grid has more power than it needs on a hot summer day. (Voice of San Diego)

FOSSIL FUELS: A new report predicts Wyoming could lose up to $1.5 billion in revenue over the next two years because of collapsing energy prices and coronavirus crisis. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is leading an effort urging the Treasury Department to take additional steps to provide coronavirus aid to the solar industry. (Utility Dive)
• A new survey finds that Hawaii’s solar industry lost $6.7 million in revenue between mid-March and mid-April due to the coronavirus crisis. (Pacific Business News)
• Experts believe distributed solar industry may be starting to recover from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media, subscription)

MICROGRIDS: Colorado regulators are considering an agreement that would allow Xcel Energy to move forward with a $23.4 million project of seven microgrids incorporating energy storage. (Microgrid Knowledge)

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EFFICIENCY: A Colorado county is looking at changing its building codes in a bid to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. (Aspen Journalism)

COMMENTARY:
A former Western BLM state director is concerned the agency is on a path that will deeply embed private interests into public lands. (High Country News)
A Nevada lawmaker explains why big energy projects like the 690 MW Gemini solar project will help the state’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis. (Elko Daily Free Press)
A Colorado lawmaker says the oil and gas industry is beneficial to rural communities and the state for jobs and tax revenue. (Fort Morgan Times)

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