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)

• 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)

• 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)

• 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)

• 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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