Western Energy News

Tri-State announces plans to invest in renewables and cut emissions

UTILITIES: Tri-State Generation and Transmission plans to build eight new solar and wind projects by 2024 and cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 90% by 2030. (Durango Herald, Denver Post)

COAL: A New Mexico coal plant will close a decade sooner than planned due to groundwater scarcity. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE: A key Oregon Republican continues to oppose cap-and-trade legislation, saying he would prefer to see the policy referred to voters. (Oregon Live)

EFFICIENCY:
Two lighting industry organizations have withdrawn their lawsuit challenging California’s new efficiency standards for lightbulbs. (San Francisco Chronicle)
“We need to save wherever we can”: Efficiency upgrades help a rural Oregon grocery store cut energy costs by 20%. (Wallowa County Chieftan)

CALIFORNIA:
A California bill that aims to control PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs advances despite the apprehensions of some lawmakers. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A California lawmaker calls for an investigation into whether lax oversight by state regulators contributed to PG&E’s current state. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION: A new report from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality indicates wood stoves and chimneys emit pollution at levels similar to a wildfire. (St. Helens Chronicle)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico officials announce additional possible methane emission violations by oil and gas operations around the state. (New Mexico Political Report)
Environmental advocates in favor of decommissioning California’s Playa del Rey natural gas facility have been given renewed hope by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s support for closing down Aliso Canyon. (Argonaut News)
Colorado sees a 59% drop in oil and gas well drilling permits in 2019 compared to 2018, the fewest in more than a decade. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
Kern County, California oil industry officials are skeptical of California’s pledge to continue listening to their concerns about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s goal to be free of fossil fuels by 2045. (Bakersfield Californian)

NUCLEAR: Carlsbad, New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recently accepted its first large cask of low-level waste in six years since two incidents in 2014 ceased operations. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

SOLAR: Oregon lawmakers allocate $2 million for a solar and storage rebate program running until July 2021. (Portland Business Journal)

TRANSMISSION:
California’s efforts to expand its energy market across the Western U.S. is cited in a new study of the complicated, region-by-region state of play for the U.S. transmission grid. (Greentech Media)
Arizona Public Service proposes replacing static wire with fiber optic cable for about 34 miles of transmission line. (Arizona Daily Sun)

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TRANSPORTATION: Arizona is ending its Energy Efficient Plate Program on March 2 due to a federal law that expired in September authorizing the unrestricted use of HOV lanes by certain hybrid vehicles. (ABC15)

COMMENTARY:
A California conservationist says the resilience provided by solar during emergencies is priceless, and putting power into the hands of citizens bolsters democratic societies. (Eureka Times-Standard)
A former U.S. Federal Highway Administration official says America’s renewable energy future is limited by antiquated bureaucracies and red tape. (Deseret News)
An environment and natural resources lawyer explains why he thinks the popular view among some environmental advocacy groups on the safest way to close ash ponds is wrong. (Utility Dive)

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