Western Energy News

Solar poses a $1.4 billion threat to Texas fossil fuel generators

SOLAR: A boom in solar power consumption in Texas poses a $1.4 billion threat to fossil fuel generators, according to a new analysis. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: President Trump says he will announce a decision on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar panels “pretty soon.” (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY: In what’s being hailed as a revolutionary technological breakthrough, a North Carolina company is capturing carbon dioxide directly from natural gas combustion and using it to drive its turbines at a demonstration project in Texas. (E&E News)

• New Mexico’s largest electric provider has asked state regulators for permission to add 266 megawatts of renewable energy to Facebook’s massive data center in Los Lunas. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Meanwhile, New Mexico regulators also approve $4.7 million in ratepayer charges for upgrades to a coal plant. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• Nevada regulators say the state’s attorney general overstepped his authority by contacting FERC asking for rate cuts in response to federal tax breaks. (Nevada Independent)

COAL: A former photographer for the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking whistleblower protections after leaking a photo of Secretary Rick Perry and a coal mogul who gained notoriety by initially denying responsibility in a 2007 mine collapse in Utah that killed nine people. (New York Times)

• Salt Lake City’s transit agency introduces five new all-electric buses to its fleet as part of its effort to reduce air pollution. (Deseret News)
• More than 700 EV charging stations will be installed in Utah with the help of Rocky Mountain Power, Uber and others. (Deseret News)

• A Denver judge has ruled that a Colorado oil and gas company violated security rules in a case that might have national ramifications on how wells are financed. (Denver Post)
• An Oklahoma state legislator who has been a fierce advocate for the oil and gas industry said he suspects someone associated with the state’s growing wind industry is responsible for putting a tracking device on his car that he discovered last month. (Daily Oklahoman)
• A new study shows how efforts to improve wastewater disposal from oil and gas wells have done little to prevent large earthquakes in Oklahoma. (Newsweek)
• Two of Oklahoma’s largest trade groups for oil and gas companies are supporting a plan to increase taxes on the industry to help support public education in the state. (Daily Oklahoman)

• Texas shatters its previous record for power demand in the wake of a cold snap, but avoids blackouts largely through conservation and demand response. (San Antonio Express News)
• The National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado launches a national economic assessment of the electrification of commercial and residential buildings, industries and transportation across the country. (GreenTech Media)

POLITICS: A new analysis of expense reports from lobbyists in New Mexico shows that the oil and gas industry dominates political campaign contributions. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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