Western Energy News

PG&E to pay $3.5 million fine for Camp Fire deaths

CALIFORNIA: A California county judge orders PG&E to pay the statutory maximum penalty of $3.5 million for causing 2018’s Camp Fire which killed 84 people. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: Despite admitting “an impulse to safeguard” the oil industry, a Texas court rules against ExxonMobil in its effort to obtain records from California cities suing the company for climate damages. (InsideClimate News)

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SOLAR:
• The policy director for the California Solar & Storage Association says the proposal to end net metering that FERC is currently considering “is pretty close to saying solar is illegal.” (InsideClimate News)
• A Washington solar installer expects residential installations to increase statewide thanks to upcoming building code changes. (Spokane Journal of Business)
• Nevada solar projects are managing to buck the trend of lost business and jobs plaguing the industry because of the coronavirus crisis. (E&E News, subscription)
• Montana’s largest solar project secures a new contract to sell power to an electric cooperative and its Montana members. (KPVI)

COAL: Colorado orders a coal company to stop building new roads in a roadless area where it aims to expand mining operations. (Denver Post)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico and a major Permian Basin operator announce a pilot project aimed at reducing flaring in existing oilfield operations is successful, but activists are calling for the project to end. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
A member of California’s Yurok Tribe says an ad pressuring Oregon to approve the controversial Jordan Cove liquified gas export terminal is misleading, and so is the name of the obscure group behind it. (DeSmog)
A Colorado town’s moratorium on new oil and gas operations is set to expire July 28, but some officials are in favor of extending it again. (Colorado Hometown Weekly)

PIPELINES: Nevada’s utility regulator issues a warning about several incidents this year involving solar installers damaging natural gas pipelines when installing electrical grounding rods. (Nevada Appeal)

UTILITIES:
A new data analysis finds that 17 California community choice aggregators purchased 38% more electricity over last year. (S&P Global)
Colorado utility regulators are set to conduct a survey of utilities’ retail electric rates, as required by a new law passed in 2019. (Colorado Politics)

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TECHNOLOGY: The Rocky Mountain Institute is partnering with a Swiss investment company on two initiatives aiming to accelerate the adoption of new technology in the energy sector. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
An Alaska oil spill consultant says a proposal to turn over all the remaining balance of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration funds to a politically conservative, private foundation is a bad idea. (Anchorage Daily News)
• The executive director of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association discusses the impact of a new bill requiring new homes in the state must be solar-ready and 25% of parking stalls must be electric vehicle-ready. (Pacific Business News)

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