Western Energy News

Oregon Republicans’ walkout highlights deeper divide on climate

CLIMATE: Despite numerous concessions, Oregon House Republicans join their Senate colleagues in a walkout over climate legislation, with one Democratic leader saying “nothing will ever be enough for them.” (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
ExxonMobil is to pay $1 million as part of a settlement reached with New Mexico over a 2010 petroleum contamination lawsuit. (Associated Press)
An appeals court has given Kern County, California 30 days to stop issuing permits until the county can correct violations of the California Environmental Quality Act. (Associated Press)

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CALIFORNIA:
PG&E’s CEO tries to assure California wildfire victims and regulators that resolving the utility’s safety issues is its top priority. (Associated Press)
PG&E’s $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims has many worried that they will be the lowest priority in the payout. (Associated Press)
PG&E executives reportedly told Humboldt County, California officials that most county residents should be spared from further multi-day power outages due to the utility’s ongoing efforts to “island” portions of the local grid. (Lost Coast Outpost)

WIND:
• A Colorado expert says better design could make wind turbine blades easier to recycle. (Colorado Sun)
• Construction has begun on Xcel Energy’s $900 million 240-turbine wind farm southeast of Portales, New Mexico. (Santa Fe New Mexican, subscription)

COAL:
• A Wyoming House committee advanced legislation that would allow utilities to recover the cost for construction of carbon capture equipment on coal facilities from ratepayers. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Hearing examiners for Public Service Company of New Mexico support abandoning the San Juan Generating Station. (Albuquerque Journal) 

HYDROPOWER: Oregonians express concerns over Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s plans to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River to increase endangered salmon runs. (EO Media Group)

MICROGRIDS: Solar giant Sunrun responded to PG&E’s microgrids solicitation by publishing a concept paper outlining how distributed energy resources can reliably supply the same services as gas-powered microgrids. (PV Magazine)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico Democratic Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small wants to ensure that a “sound and robust” scientific review guides federal regulators’ decision on a nuclear storage facility in the state. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: Arizona regulators hear cases for and against restructuring as part of a workshop to consider potential rules for a competitive electric retail market. (ABC15)

SOLAR: An Arizona bill that would require solar panels to be recycled has passed a House committee. (AZ Family)

TRANSMISSION: Experts say distributed solar and storage could provide resilience and address transmission congestion in Western states. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION: Vehicles counting towards California’s zero-emission clean energy transportation goals were down 12.37 percent in 2019 from the year before. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The City of Cortez, Colorado’s first electric vehicle charging station is operational after months of grant-writing, negotiations, and discussions. (Durango Herald)

COMMENTARY:
A California regulator says its important to plan for the state’s shift away from natural gas and explores how state regulators are doing exactly that. (CalMatters)
An editor says Arizona’s new law preventing cities and towns from banning natural gas hookups is a big blow for green energy and local governance. (Electrek)
Two IEEFA analysts say a plan to turn the San Juan Generating Station into a model carbon-capture project is an uneconomic pipe dream. (Farmington Daily Times)
An Arizona interest group official says plans to restructure the state’s electric system are flawed and unlikely to result in savings. (Arizona Capitol Times)

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