Western Energy News

PG&E fined $2.14 billion for wildfires

CALIFORNIA: California regulators impose a $2.14 billion penalty against PG&E for the utility’s role in causing catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: California’s Energy Commission has been exploring how advanced energy technologies could save Californians from more planned power outages. (GreenBiz)

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Oregon’s House Democratic leader subpoenas 21 Republican House lawmakers over their unexcused absences, which have prevented a vote on cap and trade legislation and stalled other key bills. (Register-Guard, Associated Press)
Small farmers in Oregon are voicing their support for cap and trade in the state. (Capital Press)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy announced earlier this week that it cut carbon emissions 10% last year, raising questions about Boulder, Colorado’s effort to launch a municipal utility. (Boulder Daily Camera)

STORAGE: Monterey County, California’s Planning Commission approved a battery energy storage project spearheaded by Tesla and PG&E. (NBC Bay Area)

HYDROPOWER: A federal report due today is expected to address the feasibility of removing four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River to increase endangered salmon runs. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Wyoming’s House advances a bill that would create rules allowing small modular nuclear reactors to be deployed in the state. (Oil City News)

BP is set to leave the Western States Petroleum Association over the oil and gas lobbying group’s position on carbon pricing and its opposition to a low-carbon fuel standard now being considered in Washington state. (Seattle Times)
New Mexico regulators can now fine oil and gas operators who do not comply with state law. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
California officials confirm this week’s explosion at Marathon Petroleum occurred in a section of the plant state inspectors recently cited for workplace safety violations. (Los Angeles Times)
Alaska’s political leadership is considering ways to fight back against JPMorgan Chase’s “anti-Alaskan” move to cease oil and gas investment in the Arctic. (Anchorage Daily News)

A U.S. magistrate judge has vacated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, ruling the BLM failed to allow public participation as required by law. (Associated Press)
U.S. land managers could prioritize Native American cultural preservation in amending an outdated guide for oil and gas drilling management across a sprawling area of northwestern New Mexico. (Associated Press)
• Western conservationists are critical of Trump administration claims that opening public lands to new coal mines won’t significantly impact the environment. (KUER)

• Montana’s Supreme Court hears arguments over how the state’s Public Service Commission should set the rates NorthWestern Energy has to pay for power the utility required to buy from small solar projects. (Associated Press)
• Gustine, California’s city council approved a $2.6 million solar program which could save the city $4.7 million in energy costs over the next three decades. (West Side Index & Gustine Press-Standard)

• Construction is set to begin on a $2.5 million geothermal system at Montana State University. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, subscription)
• Glendale, California’s city council approved a 25-year contract with Open Mountain Energy that will eventually provide the city with 15.5 megawatts of geothermal energy annually. (Glendale News-Press – Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electrify America is investing $2 million to deploy 30 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in rural California. (Electrek)

ACTIVISM: A case against five Portland climate activists charged with criminal trespassing for blocking an oil train last year ended in a mistrial. (The Oregonian)

San Jose, California’s mayor says ratepayers should own PG&E since they will be burdened with billions of dollars in long-overdue investment in maintenance, upgrades, and microgrids. (San Francisco Chronicle)
An Oregon Republican says he believes the state’s cap and trade legislation is less about the environment and more about centralizing power in the hands of bureaucrats. (Capital Press)

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