Western Energy News

Trump administration drops antitrust probe of automakers

TRANSPORTATION: The Department of Justice has quietly ended its antitrust probe into four automakers that sided with California on emissions rules, which had been part of a string of actions the Trump administration has taken against the state’s climate policies. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: A public hearing on Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill last weekend drew a large but sharply-divided crowd, with at least 150 people signed up to testify. (Associated Press)

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CALIFORNIA:
PG&E has submitted a plan to California regulators it says would reduce the utility’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs by one third. (San Francisco Chronicle)
As a key deadline in PG&E’s bankruptcy nears, questions remain about how serious California Gov. Gavin Newsom is about a state takeover. (New York Times)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Environmentalists have withdrawn their lawsuit accusing the BLM of failing to  adequately analyze the environmental potential impact of three oil and gas leases in eastern Arizona. (Associated Press)
• An exploration of the Trump administration’s final management plans for Utah’s reduced Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments finds that a drilling and mining boom is unlikely. (InsideClimate News)

RENEWABLES: Colorado’s renewable energy successes were among the topics covered by Gov. Jared Polis at the National Governors Association’s annual winter meeting. (Durango Herald)

COAL: Northwestern Energy is seeking the approval of Montana’s utility regulator to buy an additional 25% share of Colstrip Unit 4 from Puget Sound energy for $1. (Montana Public Radio)

OIL & GAS: An exploration of shale’s decline over the past several years finds that Wyoming oil and gas companies are particularly vulnerable. (Wyoming Public Media)

PIPELINES:
Indigenous advocates are set to continue opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which could begin construction in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska this month. (Mother Jones)
An exploration of the 15-year battle over a proposed 229-mile natural gas pipeline and processing terminal in Oregon finds a divided community. (PBS NewsHour)
NorthWestern Energy’s application for a permit to place a natural gas pipeline under Montana’s Gallatin River has neighbors worried. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

SOLAR:
Advocates say investment in rooftop solar in Utah is waning because of a decrease in the compensation rate paid to customers. (Deseret News)
Colorado State University-Pueblo officials say the campus is the first in the state to achieve zero net electric efficiency thanks to its 22 acre solar project. (KOAA)

TRANSMISSION: New Mexico’s House passed a proposal aimed at expanding transmission lines in the state with bipartisan support. (New Mexico Political Report)

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EFFICIENCY: A Salt Lake City suburb considers a housing plan that would encourage developers to build sustainable homes that would be energy efficient and generate their own power. (Salt Lake Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
A California energy storage advocate says state planning for a reliable grid that captures and stores wind and solar energy should start now. (CalMatters)
A Colorado columnist outlines actions residents can take to help the state get off bad air lists and reach EPA attainment goals. (Denver Post)
A California editorial board says state taxpayers should be very concerned about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s threats to take over PG&E, citing likely costs. (Daily Breeze)
An energy advocate says California would need to spend billions on hardening its grid to protect life and property after spending billions taking over PG&E. (Mercury News)

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