Western Energy News

Rush to drill Alaska wildlife refuge picking up speed

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration is racing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development with the support of Republicans in Congress and a wealthy and influential Alaska Native corporation. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• An outdoor recreation group is worried about how drilling on public lands in southern Colorado could hurt a community’s investment in a trail system proving to be a tourist draw. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
• A Denver-based oil and gas company is proposing to conduct a seismic survey on 14,000 acres in southern Colorado over environmentalists’ concerns about possible impacts on local elk and roadless areas. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

UTILITIES:
• Eugene, Oregon considers amending its franchise agreement with a natural gas company to require it to reduce its carbon emissions. (Eugene Register-Guard)
• The fate of California’s largest utility could rest with newly-elected Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has a long history with the company. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Tucson utility plans to spend $10 million on electric vehicle incentives and charging stations. (Arizona Daily Star)

POLLUTION: A new federal study shows that wildfires in California this year have released 68 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is about the same amount of carbon emissions produced to power the entire state for a year. (The Hill)

COAL:
• Federal and state regulators give preliminary approval to the major expansion of a Montana coal mine even though its owners have filed for bankruptcy. (Billings Gazette)
• The former owner of a Montana coal-fired power plant sues its current owner, claiming it squandered money set aside for future cleanups and pensions. (Billings Gazette)
• Retired Wyoming coal miners worry that their pensions will be eliminated as their former employer goes through bankruptcy proceedings. (Casper Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Net zero homes are popping up across Colorado as developers realize they can build the energy efficient homes for about the same amount of money as regular homes. (Colorado Sun)

WIND: The BLM rejects a Swedish company’s plan to build 200 wind turbines along a 22-mile stretch of the Nevada-California border. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

GRID: California’s grid operator is close to finalizing a three-year plan focused on ensuring resource adequacy and day-ahead markets. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: A southern Colorado electric co-op is negotiating with its wholesale energy provider to bring more solar energy to the region. (Durango Herald)

COMMENTARY: Tom Steyer says Arizona’s largest utility was able to defeat a recent clean energy initiative he backed by “openly deploying the dirtiest of tactics.” (Arizona Republic)

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