Western Energy News

Pipeline owner to pay $60 million over 2015 California spill

OIL & GAS: The owner of a pipeline that spilled oil over Santa Barbara County, California beaches in 2015 agrees to pay $60 million to settle allegations that it violated safety laws. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
New Mexico joins the opposition to President Trump’s efforts to revise a federal law requiring environmental studies be conducted during the construction of oil and gas facilities. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
An exploration of the viability of oil companies’ investments in carbon capture technology looks at Occidental Petroleum operations in the Permian Basin. (Forbes)
An employee at California’s largest oil refinery tested positive for COVID-19 and went into self-quarantine along with several other workers. (Business Times)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E reportedly supports a proposal from California’s top regulator allowing for greater oversight of the utility if it fails to reform itself and causes another catastrophic fire after exiting bankruptcy. (Bloomberg)
PG&E may need to sell more stock to finance its reorganization plan after a broad sell-off of utility shares. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
The PG&E contractor accused of “possible fraud” related to the aftermath of 2018’s Camp Fire denies overcharging and making improper payments to two of the utility’s former employees. (San Francisco Chronicle)

CLIMATE: A group of Montana youths are suing the state over its energy policy, which they say causes climate change and is too reliant on fossil fuel development. (Courthouse News Service)

PUBLIC LANDS: Western environmental advocates are encouraged by federal judges slowing the Trump administration’s push to open public lands to oil and gas drilling. (Los Angeles Times)

RENEWABLES: Wyoming lawmakers’ struggles with renewable energy include properly regulating solar, imposing new taxes, and having a system to dispose of old turbine blades. (Wyoming Public Media)

WIND: Military restrictions in West Coast waters continue to hinder efforts to create a thriving wind industry off California’s Central Coast. (S&P Global)

NUCLEAR: California energy regulators approve an additional $461 million in funding to pay for ongoing decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant. (Los Angeles Times)

UTILITIES:
New Mexico regulators hear updates from El Paso Electric on the utility’s plans to build a distribution substation in Las Cruces opposed by residents. (Las Cruces Sun-News)
The City of Wildomar, California is buying electricity from a Community Choice Aggregation program and offering it to residents and businesses at a more competitive rate than Southern California Edison. (Valley News)

TECHNOLOGY: A San Francisco startup’s digital controls technology aims to ease the high-voltage transmission grid’s congestion and renewable integration issues. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
An Alaska editorial board says it’s hypocrisy for major banks to single out Arctic oil development for divestment. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Northwest conservationist backs Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in supporting inclusive, collaborative solutions to make energy clean and affordable, bring salmon back, and revitalize rural communities. (Statesman Journal)
A Montana conservationist says it’s important for Montana leaders to stand up to the Trump administration in protecting western public land and sage grouse from drilling. (PlanetWatch)
A conservationist says the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda is failing Utah’s outdoor recreation economy. (Salt Lake Tribune)
An Oregon activist says mass civil disobedience is necessary to fight climate change. (Oregonian)

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