Western Energy News

Study outlines costs of ongoing reliance on coal

RENEWABLES: Rural ratepayers in the West will pay hundreds of millions of additional dollars for electricity if their wholesale supplier doesn’t switch from coal to cleaner mix of renewable energy, according to a new study. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: New Mexico’s largest electric utility is seeking to join a Western wholesale trading market, a move company officials say could $17 million annually for its customers. (Associated Press)

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COAL:
• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announces the state plans to sue the Trump administration over its plan to roll back pollution rules for coal-fired power plants, saying the move is “an affront to people who want to breathe clean air.” (The Spokesman-Review)
• A Montana U.S. Senator tells members of a federal energy committee that the early closure of a local coal plant could harm the state’s budding Bitcoin industry. (KULR)

NUCLEAR: Citing a desire to replace coal in its power portfolio, A Utah town decides to continue its support of a small-scale nuclear reactor under development in Idaho. (Salt Lake Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A sprawling frozen food distribution center in California slashes its peak demand by 29 percent after installing a new thermal energy storage system, technology growing in popularity for companies with large refrigeration needs. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The CEO of the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty electric buses in North America talks about what it takes to lead the California company. (Greentech Media)

OIL AND GAS:
• New Mexico’s oil boom is expected to inject an extra $1.2 billion into state coffers next year, a windfall that could evaporate with another crash in the volatile market, economic forecasters say. (Associated Press)
• Environmental groups and the oil and gas industry both support a move by Wyoming regulators to extend stricter air quality standards to the rest of the state. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• As oil and gas production surges in the rural West, so does worsening air quality. (Mother Jones)

SOLAR: Arizona regulators could vote in September on a new rate for residential solar and battery installation. (Utility Dive)

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POLITICS: Colorado’s two gubernatorial candidates lay out their energy plans for the state at an oil and gas industry summit where hecklers interrupted the Democratic nominee. (Colorado Politics)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s no surprise President Trump picked the hottest month of the year to roll out a series of “let’s fry the planet” policies, says a Seattle Times columnist.
• Xcel Energy’s plan to phase out two units of a coal-fired power plant in southern Colorado and add more renewable energy to its portfolio will be a boon to the local economy, says a county commissioner. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• Under President Trump, we are literally losing ground on our nation’s public lands legacy, says a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. (High Country News)
• California lawmakers should take a harder look at dairy digesters before investing another cent from a gas leak settlement, say two advocates for food safety and clean energy. (CALmatters)
• Under Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Interior Department often says one thing about public lands management, and then does another, says a columnist for Outside magazine.

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