Western Energy News

Study finds new hope for coal jobs in Wyoming

COAL: Using coal to make high-tech products could support an additional 2,600 jobs in Wyoming, according to a new study from a California-based non-partisan think tank. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ALSO: A controversial Montana coal plant continues to exceed federal air pollution limits more than a month after emission problems forced the shut down of two of its largest generators. (Billings Gazette)

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EFFICIENCY: Looking for new ways to reduce carbon emissions, Alaska turns its attention to Connecticut where a state-sponsored “green” bank has loaned millions of dollars to finance energy efficiency projects. (KTOO)

SOLAR:
• Hawaii regulators approve a power purchase agreement between a Maui utility and the island of Molokai for a solar plus storage project. (Utility Dive)
• A California solar company shifts its focus from utility-scale development to distributed generation. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
• Nevada regulators issue a proposed rule intended to make utilities’ integrated resource planning more transparent. (Utility Dive)
• A Washington appellate court rules that a Spokane-based utility might have used flawed methodology to set its electricity and natural gas rates in 2016. (Spokesman-Review)

TRANSPORTATION: California mulls its options in case it loses its fight against the Trump administration over vehicle emissions rules. (Bloomberg)

TRANSMISSION: A $2 billion transmission line project faces growing opposition in New Mexico where some conservation groups worry about potential impacts to wetlands and wildlife. (Albuquerque Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Citing costs to ratepayers, two interest groups are opposing a Southern California utility’s $760 million plan to expand its electric vehicle infrastructure. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• A year after Los Angeles adopts tough new drilling rules, a Colorado oil company announces it will cease production at a controversial site next to an apartment complex. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• A northern Colorado city considering new rules for the oil and gas industry extends a moratorium on drilling through October. (Longmont Times-Call)

WIND: Three wind companies operating in Hawaii ask federal wildlife officials to modify their permits that allow accidental bat deaths. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

RENEWABLES: Hawaii takes some of its first steps toward meeting its goal of getting all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. (Newsday)

TECHNOLOGY: California researchers have developed a process to convert carbon dioxide into natural gas using microbes, technology that could help store unlimited amounts of electricity for long periods of time. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• Two recent legal settlements involving California utilities are good examples why lawmakers should be cautious as the contemplate changing  the state’s strict liability doctrine, says a Los Angeles Times columnist.

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