Western Energy News

Small modular reactor a step closer to federal approval

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NUCLEAR: In what developers call “an unprecedented step forward,” federal regulators closed the fourth phase of a six-phase design certification process for a small modular reactor planned for Idaho. (Portland Business Journal, subscription)

An investigation reveals bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel still owes Wyoming miners compensation as company attorneys justify nearly $74,000 of expenses. (Casper Star-Tribune)
NorthWestern Energy is set to approach Montana regulators directly next year about purchasing a larger share of the Colstrip Power Plant. (Billings Gazette)

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PG&E files an amended reorganization plan and says it continues to be on track with getting the plan confirmed before a June 2020 bankruptcy exit deadline. (Reuters)
A PG&E bondholder opposes the utility’s plan, saying it would jeopardize the immediate and long-term health of the utility and critical infrastructure. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
PG&E says a lineman who claims the utility ignored safety warnings was fired for time-card fraud and other “serious misconduct,” not as a retaliatory measure. (San Francisco Chronicle)
California regulators propose shifting an energy storage incentive to benefit customers with the highest risk of wildfires and blackouts. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS: New research indicates Permian Basin shale oil drilling must increase in order to maintain current production volumes. (Houston Chronicle)

PUBLIC LANDS: BLM research indicates oil development in Alaska’s North Slope could have dramatic climate impacts even without the reversal of Obama-era restrictions. (E&E News, subscription)

HYDROPOWER: A long-running controversy over California’s Shasta Dam is at the heart of conflict between top House leaders trying to negotiate a year-end spending package. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: A new ruling by Arizona’s Corporation Commission could see a surge in solar energy projects by non-utility operators. (Arizona Daily Star)

UTILITIES: The new CEO of Arizona’s largest utility pledges more money to customers who overpaid based on bad advice that the company’s website offered customers about its cheapest rate plan. (Arizona Republic)

PIPELINES: New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall says he will object to a Senate bill reauthorizing the nation’s pipeline safety regulators over concerns it does not do enough to address methane leaks. (E&E News)

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NATURAL GAS: Two hundred uneconomic Montana wells are cited as an example of the oncoming decline of natural gas. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

An energy columnist says a PG&E bondholder’s rival bankruptcy exit plan for the utility is also a well-aimed shot at California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Bloomberg)
A Montana legislator warns that NorthWestern Energy’s desire for a larger share of the Colstrip Power Plant may end up costing ratepayers a lot of money. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
An Alaska electric utility official says affordable power in Southeast Alaska is adversely impacted by Alaskans having to pay for the 2001 Roadless Rule through their electric rates. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Montana columnist says the federal Investment Tax Credit actually works so now is not the time to end federal investment in solar energy. (Missoula Current)

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