Western Energy News

Portland utility aims for net zero emissions by 2040

UTILITIES: Portland General Electric accelerates its emissions target to an 80% reduction by 2030, with an “aspirational goal” of net-zero by 2040. (Portland Business Journal)

ALSO: California utility PG&E acknowledges it “could have and should have” done better in implementing power outages in 2019, but argues it shouldn’t be subject to $166 million in fines as proposed by a state watchdog. (Press Democrat)

POLLUTION:
• A new study finds that air pollution in Utah results in 2,500 to 8,000 premature deaths per year, and reduces median life expectancy by as much as 3.6 years. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• While U.S. carbon emissions will be lower overall in 2020, nearly a third of that has been canceled out by pollution from Western wildfires. (Washington Post)

COAL:
• Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality orders owners of the Colstrip coal plant to remove all coal ash from ponds that are contaminating groundwater. (Billings Gazette)
• A Bay Area mayor says advocacy groups aren’t doing enough to help his city fight legal challenges to an ordinance banning coal exports. (KPIX)

PUBLIC LANDS: President-elect Biden begins looking for someone to help rebuild the Bureau of Land Management after a massive staff exodus under the Trump administration. (The Hill)

WIND: Vestas is cutting 185 jobs at a Colorado turbine blade facility, citing a downturn in demand. (Denver Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• Officials in a central California city reject a zoning change that would have allowed a community solar project on an industrial parcel. (Sun Gazette)
• Local activists fight a proposed 410 acre solar project on the outskirts of California’s Bay Area, saying it poses a threat to agricultural land. (The Independent)

NUCLEAR: U.S. senators from Wyoming and Idaho are backing a bill to support nuclear power. (Idaho State Journal)

OIL & GAS: The American Petroleum Institute says “one sector should not be targeted” as Colorado seeks to cut emissions. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

FOSSIL FUELS: A Wyoming lawmaker predicts the state’s petroleum and coal industries will never recover as “the war on carbon is going to continue at an increased pace.” (Cowboy State Daily)

STORAGE: The area around California’s Salton Sea could contain one of the world’s largest deposits of lithium, a key ingredient in battery manufacturing. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A city councilman in Casper, Wyoming warns the city’s grid is not prepared for widespread adoption of electric vehicles. (Oil City News)

ELECTRIFICATION: A UCLA study of electrification notes that household natural gas use doesn’t coincide with peak clean energy production. (news release)

COMMENTARY: A columnist says Arizona regulators “at long last, may be ready to regulate the state’s largest and most powerful utility.” (Arizona Republic) 

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