Western Energy News

Report: Clean energy driving down costs in California

RENEWABLES: Increasing clean energy generation is largely responsible for most of the price declines in California’s wholesale power market over the past five years, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• Facebook pledges to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 after easily surpassing a previous goal. (Greentech Media)
• A bill requiring California to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045 now heads to the governor to sign into law. (Greentech Media)

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POWER PLANTS: The new owners of a California gas power plant are asking state regulators to compensate facilities that are able to provide power in a pinch, a move critics say is a politically tinged effort to prop up a failing plant. (San Francisco Chronicle)

OIL AND GAS:
• A federal agency that protects whistleblowers is taking up the case of a former Interior Department employee in Alaska who complained the agency was taking shortcuts in its environmental review of an oil company’s Arctic offshore drilling plans. (Alaska Public Media)
• A plan to sharply increase the distance between drilling sites and populated areas in Colorado will go before voters in November, state election officials confirmed. (Reuters)
• A Utah congressman holds a field hearing into whether Western states are being shortchanged critical dollars for education because of vast federal land ownership in the region. (Deseret News)


TRANSPORTATION: Trump administration officials and California air regulators meet to discuss their sharp differences over vehicle emissions standards. (Reuters)

UTILITIES: Critics of California lawmakers’ current plan to address utilities’ wildfire liabilities say it’s a “bailout in sheep’s clothing” that will ultimately make ratepayers responsible. (Sacramento Bee)

CARBON: Supporters of a proposed carbon fee on Portland businesses say people of color and low-income communities will benefit if the measure passes. (Portland Tribune)

STORAGE: Federal regulators rule that a Southern California utility can’t treat its storage customers differently. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Critics of California lawmakers’ current plan to address utilities’ wildfire liabilities say it’s a “bailout in sheep’s clothing” that will ultimately make ratepayers responsible. (Sacramento Bee)

SOLAR:
• A research hub at the University of Arizona is one of 70 sites selected to help foster solar research in a national competition. (Arizona Daily Star)
• Alaska researchers say the state has more solar energy potential than many might think. (KTUU)
• A Washington state panel approves a 25 MW solar farm. (Daily Energy Insider)

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NUCLEAR: Attorneys for the state of Nevada asked a federal appellate court to prevent a nuclear commissioner from weighing in on future decisions regarding plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY: Los Angeles’s plan to essentially turn Hoover Dam into a giant battery faces too many obstacles to overcome, says a University of Massachusetts professor who wrote a book about the dam’s construction. (The Conversation)

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