Western Energy News

Southern California could be facing another natural gas shortage

OIL AND GAS: Pipeline outages along with restrictions on storage could lead to natural gas shortages in Southern California this winter. (Ars Technica)

ALSO:
• Alaska and a Fairbanks borough are nearing completion of a $330 million deal to expand natural gas availability in the state’s interior. (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)
A new Alaska initiative seeks to determine whether the state can balance oil and gas development with efforts to fight climate change. (PRI)

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UTILITIES:
• A state investigation into the cause of last year’s wildfires in California could pave the way for victims to sue a utility for damages and prevent it from passing on the cost to customers. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Moving the high-voltage wires behind a famous Las Vegas sign would cost about $1 million, a Nevada utility official says. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A Colorado electric co-op will borrow more than $82 million to build almost 200 miles of new lines, repair more than 190 miles of existing lines and install smart meters. (Denver Post)

COAL:
• Republican federal lawmakers from Montana see President Trump’s plan to prop up struggling coal and nuclear plants as a possible lifeline for the Colstrip plant. (Billings Gazette)
• A Wyoming economist says President Trump’s plan to save coal and nuclear plants would have minimal impact on the state’s coal industry. (Gillette News-Record)
• County officials in Wyoming say a Tennessee company owes more than $4 million in unpaid taxes for two coal mines it sold last year. (Casper Star-Tribune)

PIPELINES: A mock oil spill disaster exercise last year prompted Washington state to criticize Canada for its emergency preparedness, tension that could increase as the country is poised to take over ownership of the Trans Mountain pipeline. (The Globe and Mail)

POLITICS: The top three donors in the current Nevada election cycle are funneling money toward an energy choice ballot measure. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: “Smart” traffic lights, drones and electric cars are popular solutions with San Francisco residents sick of traffic, a new poll finds. (Tribune News Service)

NUCLEAR: Concerned Californians protest a nuclear plant operator’s plans to move its waste to a new location by planting 1 million sunflowers. (Bloomberg)

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WIND: Researchers at Oregon State University are experimenting with special cameras and giant inflatables to scare eagles away from wind turbines. (WTHR)

COMMENTARY:
• Keeping an Arizona coal plant open is preventing the Navajo and Hopi tribes from transitioning to clean energy, say two leaders of Navajo community groups. (Arizona Republic)
• New Mexico needs to prevent utilities from trying to elect the people in charge of regulating them, says the editorial page editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
• Community choice aggregators are transforming California’s electricity market and spurring innovation, says a Los Angeles Times columnist.
• A proposed transmission line project could keep Idaho at the front of the renewable energy scene, says the Twin Falls Times-News.

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