Western Energy News

Texas regulators sign off on massive wind expansion

WIND: Texas regulators approve Xcel Energy’s plan to build two new wind farms totaling 1.2 GW of capacity. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

ALSO:
• Oklahoma lawmakers are embroiled in a high stakes battle over whether to end tax credits for the wind industry. (The Oklahoman)
• A new website answers questions about a project that will triple the wind capacity for Fort Collins’ power provider by 2020. (The Coloradoan)

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BIOFUELS: The EPA has granted a biofuel exemption to an Oklahoma refinery owned by former Trump advisor Carl Icahn, who is currently under investigation for his role in influencing federal renewable fuel policy. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• Marathon Petroleum Corp. buys San Antonio refiner Andeavor for $23 billion in a deal that creates the largest independent fuel maker in the U.S. (Bloomberg)
• A supertanker arrives in Texas that could help determine whether similar vessels might be suitable for future oil exports. (Bloomberg)
• Colorado landowners push back against “forced pooling,” a practice one lawmaker calls “corporate eminent domain” for the oil and gas industry. (Colorado Politics)
• A west Colorado town joins other municipalities pushing state regulators to consider the health and environmental impacts of drilling before granting permits. (Aspen Daily News)
• BLM will auction off more than 3,700 acres of land in Utah and its next oil and gas lease in June. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Drilling is surging in central and northwestern Oklahoma. (The Oklahoman)

COAL:
• Two investment firms are considering a joint purchase of an Arizona coal plant that’s set to close next year. (Arizona Republic)
• A national credit ratings agency deems a Colorado Springs coal-fired power plant “at risk.” (Colorado Politics)

UTILITIES: Oklahoma is bucking a nation trend of rising electricity prices thanks to lower gas prices and utility upgrades. (The Oklahoman)

SOLAR: Built in the shadow of a former Arizona smelter, a small high-tech company runs on solar energy captured by 242 rooftop panels. (The Verde Independent)

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POLITICS: Democrats running for New Mexico land commissioner say the state should consider raising its royalty rate for oil and gas development. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

COMMENTARY:
• Ethanol is good for the environment and Colorado and good for Colorado farmers, says the CEO of the state’s corn growers association. (Greeley Tribune)
• A Texas A&M professor doubts whether a Texas oil and gas regulator who recently denied climate change realizes the facts are not on his side. (Trib Talk)
• How energy storage on a fossil-fuel dependent grid can actually increase carbon emissions. (Vox)

 

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