Western Energy News

Solar company envisions ‘virtual power plant’ for California

SOLAR: After grappling with uncertainty created by the Trump administration’s tariffs, the solar industry is poised for a comeback as a result of incentives like California’s recent requirement for new home construction. (CNBC)

ALSO:  
• The CEO of an Alaska solar company talks about how solar is better than diesel and some of the unique challenges the state faces in deploying more clean energy. (Clean Technica)
• A solar company says Los Angeles could meet its clean energy goals by creating a virtual power plant based around home solar panels and battery storage. (New York Times)

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GREEN JOBS: A new report shows Nevada is leading the nation in clean energy job growth, a trend largely driven by Tesla’s factory near Reno. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: California has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the Trump administration to release documents to justify its decision to roll back vehicle emissions standards. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• Colorado environmental regulators routinely allow oil and gas companies to begin drilling without obtaining federally required pollution permits under a controversial loophole in state law. (Denver Post)
• A major oil and gas company is conducting the largest 3D seismic survey of the Arctic this winter in Alaska. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)
• A series of recent breakdowns at several California refineries are causing gasoline prices to surge. (Bloomberg)
• Members of a Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing in Santa Fe this month to discuss potential impacts of drilling at a New Mexico site considered sacred by several Western tribes. (Associated Press)
• A Texas-based oil and gas company that owns hundreds of wells in western Colorado has filed for bankruptcy for a second time. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Increasing demand for copper used in electric vehicle batteries is driving a mining resurgence in Nevada. (High Country News)
A growing network of social media savvy short-sellers are betting that Tesla stock will soon crash. (Los Angeles Times)

UTILITIES: The new leader of California’s largest utility brings a wealth of experience to the job and lingering questions about his commitment to clean energy. (San Francisco Chronicle)

PUBLIC LANDS: If the goals of the Green New Deal are to be met, replacing fossil fuels with clean energy produced on federal lands will be critical, energy policy experts say. (Outside)

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COAL: The coal industry is declining in Wyoming faster than some economists and local elected officials once thought possible. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
Passing legislation raising Nevada’s renewable energy standards and scaling up the deployment of electric vehicles are some of the ways the state can strengthen its clean energy policies, says a local attorney focused on energy issues. (Las Vegas Sun)
A U.S. Senator from New Mexico criticizes a local newspaper for running a column from a group linked to an oil and coal-funded Texas organization claiming the transition to clean energy would hurt local families’ pocketbooks. (Albuquerque Journal)
It’s time to accelerate the transition to clean, reliable electric transportation in Colorado, says two state senators. (Colorado Politics)

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