Western Energy News

Seattle considers new approach to banning natural gas

ELECTRIFICATION: After failing to pass a natural gas ban in single-family homes last year, Seattle officials are advancing a new proposal focused on large multi-family buildings and commercial construction. (MyNorthwest)

OIL & GAS:
The Trump administration announces it will auction drilling leases for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in January, bypassing public comments and sparking warnings of costly legal action. (InsideClimate News)
Boulder County, Colorado officials are considering increasing the minimum setback requirement for new oil and gas facilities. (Longmont Times-Call)

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COAL:
• A coal company with mines in Wyoming and Montana, as well as a stake in a controversial Washington state export terminal, files for bankruptcy. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Tri-State Generation and Transmission will still get 23% of its electricity from coal-fired power plants despite its $21 billion plan to transition to renewables over the next decade. (Colorado Sun)
• A Colorado utility says it will have a better idea about its goal to achieve a 100% non-carbon energy mix by 2030 after a regulatory meeting this month on the possible closure of a coal fired power-plant two years earlier than expected. (Coloradoan) 

FOSSIL FUELS: A new study says most fossil fuel plants will reach their useful life spans by 2035 and replacing them will be less expensive than previously thought. (Energy News Network)

PUBLIC LANDS: A conservationist says the Interior Department’s failure to include New Mexico projects for funding could be related to criticism of William Perry Pendley’s appointment to lead the Bureau of Land Management by the state’s congressional delegation. (New Mexico Political Report) 

UTILITIES:
California regulators approve PG&E’s rate increase for residential customers aimed at helping the formerly bankrupt utility pay for its wildfire mitigation efforts. (Associated Press)
Ratepayers of New Mexico’s largest electricity provider could collectively receive a $25 million credit on their electric bills over three years if regulators approve its $4.3 billion merger with another company. (Albuquerque Journal)
San Diego Gas & Electric opens 10 drive-through resource centers to help ratepayers adversely impacted by the utility’s planned power outages. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SOLAR: Communities in northwest Colorado coal country are collaborating on a $2.1 million solar proposal. (Steamboat Pilot and Today)

EFFICIENCY: Three Central California counties are working together on educating the public about the benefits of energy efficiency technologies, and providing assistance in helping people adopt such technologies. (Santa Maria Sun)

OVERSIGHT: A coalition of environmental groups urge President-elect Biden to not appoint former California regulator Mary Nichols to lead the EPA, saying the state’s cap-and-trade policies have led to increased pollution in low-income communities. (Sacramento Bee)

COMMENTARY:
The president of a New Mexico home builders group says they weren’t given enough of a voice in Albuquerque’s building code discussions. (Albuquerque Journal)
A California columnist explores whether the state really needs a clean air measure, particularly while still spending on freeway expansions that contribute to pollution. (Streetsblog San Francisco)

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