Western Energy News

Portland ballot measure would tax big-box stores to pay for clean energy

RENEWABLES: Portland voters will decide this fall whether to tax giant retailers to pay for clean energy, an effort spearheaded by a coalition of environmental organizations and communities of color. (Grist)

ALSO:
• California learns the hard way that integrating large amounts of clean energy on the grid isn’t easy. (PV Magazine)
• A northern Colorado city is moving ahead with plans to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. (The Coloradoan)

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EFFICIENCY: By tapping into funds generated by the state’s cap and trade program to pay for energy improvements for low-income residents, California becomes a pioneer in the energy justice movement. (Yale Environment 360)

OIL AND GAS:
• Colorado regulators agree to consider issuing rules that would establish larger buffer zones between schools and oil and gas sites. (The Denver Channel)
• The newly “condensed” window for the public to comment on oil and gas lease sales has environmentalists and Colorado landowners scrambling to file protests. (Colorado Politics)
• Utah conservation groups brace for one of the BLM’s largest oil and gas lease auctions in years. (Salt Lake Tribune)

POLITICS:
• An attorney for Arizona’s largest utility told a judge that supporters of a clean energy initiative should have listed a California billionaire as the sponsor of the effort, not them. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• Some Republican state lawmakers suggest the only reason why renewable energy use is growing in New Mexico is because of favorable local policies. (Farmington Daily-Times)

GRID: The oil boom in southeastern New Mexico is pushing electricity demand to an all-time high, Xcel Energy officials say. (Albuquerque Journal)

SOLAR:
• A steep global decline in the price of solar modules is almost offsetting the impact of the Trump administration’s tariff on imported panels, says the CEO of a California-based solar company. (Reuters)
• A Fresno school district breaks ground on a 8 MW solar plus storage project. (Renewables Now)

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COAL: A South Dakota utility will not be able to charge customers for power it purchased during a 2013 shutdown of a Montana coal plant, a judge rules. (Billings Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• Washington’s governor says California has an opportunity to shape the energy future of the West by expanding its grid to include other states, including his. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A former California assemblyman supports Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to limit utilities’ wildfire liabilities, arguing that if the state is going to achieve its clean energy goals it needs financially healthy electricity providers. (Sacramento Bee)
• Recently released documents relating to the Interior Department’s national monuments review are a window into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s “complete abdication of environmental stewardship to appease corporate, extractive industries,” says the public lands director for a national environmental group. (The Hill)

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