Western Energy News

PG&E diverted millions away from efforts to bury power lines

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CALIFORNIA: An audit finds PG&E “consistently and significantly” shifted money away from efforts to bury power lines underground for 10 years. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
FEMA wants nearly $4 billion from PG&E’s settlement with wildfire victims for services rendered to local governments and individuals after wildfires in 2017 and 2018. (Press Democrat)
An investigation reveals PG&E was alerted in 1987 about the failure risk of worn steel hooks like the one that caused 2018’s deadly Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in state history. (NBC Bay Area)
A group of PG&E’s creditors are reportedly pressuring California Gov. Gavin Newsom to reject the bankrupt utility’s restructuring plan & veto its $13.5 wildfire settlement. (Bloomberg)
A new study indicates PG&E’s planned power outages in Northern California could double or quadruple in coming years if aging power lines are not replaced. (Wall Street Journal)

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GRID:
Experts say California’s smart grid could become a technology foundation for future wildfire defense. (E&E News)
California’s climate crisis is cited in an analysis of trends that shaped the grid edge this year. (Greentech Media)
A San Diego Gas & Electric representative was among utility officials discussing the findings of a new report indicating utilities must prepare for more distributed energy resources on the grid. (Utility Dive)

NATURAL GAS:
California regulators unanimously vote in support of six local governments seeking to limit the use of natural gas in many new buildings. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency approves the permit application for the Tacoma liquefied natural gas project despite opposition from the Puyallup Tribe and environmentalists. (News Tribune)

PUBLIC LANDS:
BLM officials say yesterday’s Alaska oil and gas lease sale was its most successful in 13 years. (Reuters)
A federal judge stops oil and gas drilling approvals and suspends applications for new permits in Colorado’s North Fork Valley until the BLM completes analysis on the impact of development on climate change. (E&E News, subscription)
Today is the deadline for top Bureau of Land Management employees to decide on relocating to the agency’s new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado.  (Colorado Public Radio)

OIL & GAS:
• Weld County, Colorado’s new Oil and Gas Energy Department is to be staffed with 15 employees to regulate oil and gas operations with full cost recovery through permit fees. (Greeley Tribune)
• Alaska’s revenue could decrease in the wake of BP’s departure from the North Slope. (E&E News, subscription)

RENEWABLES: Arizona regulators approve a landmark renewable energy deal between the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power Company. (Arizona Daily Star)

CLIMATE: Rural Alaska communities gather to compare notes on the impacts of climate change at a conference developed specifically for and by Alaska Native people. (Anchorage Daily News)

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POLITICS: A Colorado congressman wants to make it harder for political appointees to scrub scientific information from government reports. (Colorado Independent)

COMMENTARY: A California editorial board says PG&E should be prosecuted over the mass deaths and destruction of 2018’s Camp Fire. (Manteca/Ripon Bulletin)

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