Western Energy News

Solar report finds a few bright spots in improving diversity

SOLAR:  A solar industry study released today shows the U.S. solar workforce continues to lack diversity, though hiring and recruiting changes are helping some companies improve. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A South Dakota utility reaches a deal to buy power from the largest solar farm under development in Montana. (Billings Gazette)

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GRID: California is considering once again purchasing power for its residents as the state’s major utilities face wildfire-fueled bankruptcy threats. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES: An official with the company proposing to build the Keystone XL pipeline says construction won’t begin in 2019 due to court delays. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: One of the founders of a California-based organization trying to bring power to the Hopi reservation and Navajo Nation talks about the challenges of scaling renewable energy systems in Native American communities. (The Revelator)

COAL: A Virginia businessman says he still wants to buy a struggling Wyoming coal mine despite an impasse with the former owner’s creditors. (Casper Star-Tribune)

UTILITIES: A bankruptcy judge will decide whether California’s largest utility can walk away from power contracts worth billions of dollars or amend them as it goes through restructuring. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Colorado lawmakers pass several pieces of legislation to boost electric vehicle ownership but balk at a direct sales bill, a decision that might cost the state the first store for an electric truck maker. (The Colorado Sun)
• City officials in Fort Collins, Colorado are considering ways to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. (The Coloradoan)

OIL & GAS:
• A proposed liquefied natural gas facility in Oregon would be the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state if built. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
• A U.S. House panel will study a proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren backed by several other Democratic presidential candidates to ban drilling on public lands. (The Hill)
• A U.S. Senator from Montana has accused the Interior Department of undermining a local tribe’s efforts to prevent drilling next to Glacier National Park. (Associated Press)
• A New Mexico-based environmental group has sued seven oil and gas companies for alleged air pollution violations at drilling sites north of Denver. (Longmont Times-Call)
• As New Mexico contemplates new rules to reduce methane emissions, some initial survey work suggest most of the pollution is coming from a few “super emitters” in the Permian Basin. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Environmentalists say the Trump administration’s plan to open one million acres of public and private land in California to fracking is “dangerous” to humans and nearby national parks. (CNBC)

COAL: A Virginia businessman says he still wants to buy a struggling Wyoming coal mine despite an impasse with the mine’s creditors. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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POLITICS: Democratic hopeful Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington announces his ambitious plan to fight climate change which calls for phasing out coal and gasoline-powered cars over the next decade. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• To curb dangerous air pollution and fight climate change, California needs to “electrify everything on wheels” as quickly as possible and continue to reduce carbon from fuels, says former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the former state senate president. (Sacramento Bee)
• A Montana power provider has proposed changes that would make it much harder for customers to buy clean energy, says several Missoula city leaders. (The Missoulian)

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