Western Energy News

Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling questions coal plant retrofit

COAL: An Oklahoma utility will proceed with environmental upgrades at two coal-fired power plants despite an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that  vacates a regulatory order on the $500 million job. (The Oklahoman)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A clean energy initiative and one requiring Nevada to switch to a competitive retail electricity market have voter support, a new poll shows. (Nevada Independent)

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STORAGE: Colorado state senators approve a bill directing regulators to come up with a regulatory framework for investor-owned utilities to procure energy storage systems. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: The CEO of the Southwest Power Pool says he’s “very disappointed” in Xcel Energy’s decision to leave a utility group considering forming a RTO. (Platts)

• In a blow to environmental groups and tribal leaders in New Mexico, a federal judge reverses his previous conclusion that some drilling near pueblo-rich area in northwest New Mexico violates the law. (E&E News)
• The National Park Service is worried about noise, air pollution and other possible impacts from drilling near a Utah monument that was recently leased for oil and gas development. (Durango Herald)
• As oil booms in the Permian Basin, so does the city of Midland. (Marketplace)

SOLAR: Arizona regulators push back a decision on rates for Tucson solar customers who generate excess power. (Arizona Daily Star)

EFFICIENCY: A Colorado clean energy think tank looks to a Colorado developer for ideas on how to pursue net-zero energy in new and existing buildings. (Green Biz)

POLITICS: The oil and gas industry contributed more than $683,000 over the past two years to Oklahoma lawmakers, campaign finance reports show. (Oklahoma Watch)

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NUCLEAR: Federal regulators will kick off a series of public meetings next week to discuss a plan to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors at a proposed site in New Mexico. (Associated Press)

• Building a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is a potentially catastrophic bad idea, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun.
• Pipelines are the safest and cheapest way to to transport the energy we need, says a Houston Chronicle business columnist.
• An Oklahoma school principal says local wind farms are pumping much-needed cash into the district. (Tulsa World)
• A top Texas oil and gas regulator claims, incorrectly, that “we don’t know whether man-made greenhouse gases are impacting our climate in a harmful way.” (Texas Tribune)
• Citing a recent explosion that killed a girl in Dallas, a public policy expert says that state and federal regulators need to ensure utilities replacing aging pipelines are putting sufficient resources into the task. (Forbes)

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