Western Energy News

Report: Wildfires could send California electricity rates soaring

UTILITIES: Millions of California utility customers could see their rates double if the state continues to experience devastating wildfires, according to a report sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: California’s major utilities are generally supportive of an emerging plan to create a statewide renewable energy procurement process. (Utility Dive)

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PIPELINES: President Trump issues two executive orders aimed at making it harder for states to stop pipelines and projects like a proposed coal export terminal that Washington blocked by rejecting a crucial water permit. (Seattle Times)

OIL AND GAS:
• Some Amazon employees are pressuring the Seattle-based company to sever ties with the fossil fuel industry because of its contribution to climate change. (Associated Press)
• The fossil fuel divestment movement is gaining traction in Colorado despite opposition from the state’s powerful oil and gas industry. (Westword)

RENEWABLES:
• California can reach its ambitious clean energy goals by 2030 but it can’t rely solely on renewable power generation and storage to meet its carbon emission reduction targets, according to a new report. (E&E News)
• Apple has convinced many of its manufacturing partners to use clean energy just four years after launching an ambitious clean energy program focused on the California company’s supply chain. (GreenBiz)

ELECTRIC PLANES: A Canadian airline that has a major hub in Seattle says it intends to build the “world’s first all electric airline” by retrofitting its current fleet of seaplanes with electric motors and battery packs. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• A California startup has secured $2.4 million in seed funding to help commercialize a new solar technology. (Greentech Media)
• A California Senate committee approves a proposal to create a “Solar Bill of Rights.” (PV Magazine)
• A community solar bill is gaining support in Nevada. (Nevada Current)

COAL: Eight former Montana regulators say they have “grave concerns” about a bill seeking to allow a South Dakota utility to buy a bigger stake in a struggling coal plant without the scrutiny of state utility regulators. (Great Falls Tribune)

CLIMATE: As the Hawaii legislature winds down, a few important climate-related bills are still moving forward, including a plan to create a state energy officer. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

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NUCLEAR: A plan to build an interim storage facility for nuclear waste in New Mexico meets with stiff opposition from local and national groups. (NPR)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the Santa Fe New Mexican says that a recently filed bill seeking to ban drilling on federal lands near a pueblo-rich national park is “important, necessary legislation to preserve our collective heritage for people yet to be born.”
• Colorado can do better than recalling lawmakers who supported a bill overhauling the way the oil and gas industry is regulated in the state, says the editorial board of the Denver Post.
• A bill moving Washington to 100% clean electricity by 2045 will ensure that the state’s utilities “make the right decision for climate and their customers’ pocketbooks rather than build out expensive new fossil fuel infrastructure,” says the government relations director of a local environmental group. (Utility Dive)

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