Western Energy News

Report: Oregon’s carbon cap plan would create thousands of jobs

CARBON: A new economic report finds Oregon’s proposed cap-and-trade plan would create thousands of jobs while only modestly increasing energy prices, an estimate disputed by some of the state’s natural gas utilities. (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Bend Bulletin)

ALSO: Hawaii lawmakers are currently considering four proposals to create a carbon tax. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

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UTILITIES:
• Even if PG&E emerges intact from bankruptcy, it will still face challenges by a California legal doctrine that holds utilities liable for wildfires caused by their equipment, even if they aren’t negligent. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• With a $5.3 billion merger called off, a Spokane-based utility will now seek rate increases in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. (The Spokesman-Review)
• Two other major California utilities are one wildfire away from facing the same kind of financial problems that led to PG&E’s bankruptcy. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS:
• Federal land managers in New Mexico have postponed a controversial oil and gas lease sale on land considered sacred by area tribes. (Associated Press)
• Drilling in a national petroleum reserve in Alaska could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in the short term, according to state analysis. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)

COAL:
• An Idaho utility has cut its coal use by half over the past decade as a result of decreasing natural gas prices. (Idaho Press)
• Federal land managers are seeking public comment on a plan to expand a Colorado coal mine by almost 2,500 acres. (Durango Herald)

WIND:
• A Fairbanks, Alaska utility backs out of a wind power study, citing concerns about a potential business partner. (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)
• PacifiCorp plans to replace 69 turbines at Wyoming’s first wind farm with twelve new ones that are nearly 500 feet tall. (Casper Star Tribune)

GRID:
• Hawaii’s largest utility announces a partnership with a Swiss metering company to provide smart grid communication technologies. (Greentech Media)
• California’s grid operator has approved three policy changes aimed at clearing the path for generation and storage projects to connect with the state grid. (Utility Dive)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The director of Colorado’s energy office says the state could be reaching a major tipping point on electric vehicles. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
• California needs to help PG&E survive one way or another, says a political columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
• Recently filed legislation provides a generational opportunity to reduce carbon in New Mexico, say the leaders of four local environmental groups. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• PG&E’s bankruptcy is one symptom of a major breakdown in the decisions made by generations of California politicians, says a Republican state lawmaker. (Fresno Bee)

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