Western Energy News

PG&E meets bankruptcy exit deadline

NOTE TO READERS: Western Energy News will be taking a break for Independence Day. We will return on Tuesday, July 7.

CALIFORNIA: PG&E finally emerges from bankruptcy, one day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom authorizes a bill that would initiate a government takeover if the utility doesn’t meet certain bankruptcy deadlines or fails to perform required safety work. (New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: Meanwhile, the beleaguered utility admits to facts underlying its guilty plea for 84 deaths from 2018’s deadly Camp Fire, but rejects being condemned for a “callous disregard” for safety. (Bloomberg)

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CLIMATE: Flagstaff, Arizona makes a non-binding declaration acknowledging the region’s climate risks; and Portland, Oregon declares a climate emergency while reversing course on a freeway expansion. (Arizona Daily Sun, OPB News)

COAL: Many questions have yet to be answered one year on from Blackjewel’s bankruptcy, despite more than 2,000 court filings. (Wyoming Public Media)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado oil and gas regulators propose increasing the mill fee levied on companies to cover an anticipated budget shortfall of nearly $4 million. (Denver Post)
Hilcorp officially takes control of BP’s North Slope Alaska oil production. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Colorado anti-fracking group suspends its November ballot campaign after the state supreme court rejects gathering petition signatures electronically. (Denver Business Journal)
Colorado production data shows that month-over-month crude oil output fell by 50% in April, mainly due to 6,000 wells shutting down. (Denver Business Report)

PUBLIC LANDS:
U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is concerned about new oil and gas development being stopped on federal lands, as more 50% of New Mexico’s production is in such locations. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
New Mexico advocacy groups worry that taxpayers may not be getting their fair share of profits from BLM oil and gas lease sales. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

NATURAL GAS:
• Utilities in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado are among those opting for a natural gas-free transition in moving towards renewable energy. (PV Magazine)
• Electricity from new natural gas-fired power plants in Oregon will be a bit more expensive due to an increase in the fee plants typically use to comply with state emissions standards. (Portland Business Journal)

EQUITY: Critics are questioning why the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is hiring a white male from the fossil fuel industry to lead conservation efforts as its executive director. (Willamette Week)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Interstate 25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico is to be the state’s first “electric vehicle corridor. (Santa Fe Reporter)

GRID: Portland General Electric is set to launch a 4MW virtual power plant pilot by aggregating residential energy storage this fall. (Energy Storage News)

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POLITICS: Oil-friendly Democratic former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, now running for the U.S. Senate, says climate change is an “urgent need” that is “being ignored.” (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: A former director of Arizona’s energy office says investing in clean energy can help the state with its economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. (Arizona Daily Sun)

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