Western Energy News

PG&E fined $1.9 billion for maintenance failures

CALIFORNIA: California regulators hit PG&E with a record $1.9 billion penalty for failing to properly maintain power lines, which sparked some of the deadliest wildfires in the state’s history. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: However, state regulators backed down over a $200 million fine, which PG&E claimed would threaten its ability to raise billions of dollars needed to finance its bankruptcy plan by the June 30 deadline. (Associated Press)

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FOSSIL FUELS: Attorneys general from 10 states including New Mexico and Oregon ask FERC to delay approvals of new fossil fuel infrastructure in order to preserve the due process rights of those who might be affected. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: Experts say California’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels is still attainable after the coronavirus pandemic passes. (Capital Public Radio News)

GEOTHERMAL: California’s climate goal is stimulating the growth of geothermal power in the state. (New Republic)

OIL & GAS:
An official with an ethics organization says oil and gas company lobbyists in New Mexico are continuing with significant spending on the state’s politics. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
A Republican Alaska state lawmaker says the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will take longer because of the severe slowdown in the oil and gas industry. (The Hill)
A Colorado School of Mines director says 20 oil and gas companies have withdrawn nearly 70 internship or job offers because of the oil market crash. (Bloomberg)

PUBLIC LANDS: A new report indicates Wyoming’s public lands are under threat from “rampant” speculative oil and gas leasing. (Oil City News)

COAL: BNSF Railway announces two Wyoming facilities are to be closed and 130 workers laid off due to volatile market conditions for coal. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OVERSIGHT: Two Montana utility commissioners disagree on whether increasingly public infighting is preventing them from handling their regulatory responsibility. (Montana Public Radio)

SOLAR: California-based distributed solar and storage company SunPower reports that “proactive” cost-cutting measures lessened the impact of the company’s Q1 loss because of the coronavirus crisis. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: An analyst says that Southern California Edison’s plans to build most of its seven new storage projects next to existing solar arrays could demonstrate the potential of retrofitting solar projects that might otherwise be delivering low- or negative-priced solar to the grid. (InsideClimate News)

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ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla is planning to reopen a Bay Area assembly plant despite a county shutdown order remaining in effect. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES: Executives of Western utilities are among those advising states on strategies to reopen businesses amidst the coronavirus pandemic. (Daily Energy Insider)

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