Western Energy News

U.S. House passes Chaco protection bill

OIL & GAS: The U.S. House approves legislation prohibiting oil and gas drilling on federal land bordering New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
Environmental groups are suing the Bureau of Land Management over plans for oil and gas development on more than 720,000 acres in 11 California counties. (Reuters)
Federal safety investigators say the local government of a town north of Denver was partly to blame for a deadly oil field explosion in 2017. (E&E News, subscription)
An Alaska judge is considering a ruling on who is responsible for the cleanup of a substance that leaked from an oil refinery and contaminated nearby water wells. (Daily News-Miner, subscription)

CALIFORNIA:
The EPA says PG&E’s planned power outages knocked at least six air quality monitoring stations offline, interfering with their ability to measure the “toxic stew” in the air from California wildfires. (VICE)
• In a series of articles exploring California’s need to modernize its power grid, state officials and experts say it’s unclear if the state’s aging grid would cope in a fully electrified state. (CalMatters)
Experts say California taxpayers want solutions for PG&E’s ongoing problems and will inevitably have to pay for them, increasing calls for a state takeover of the bankrupt utility. (San Francisco Chronicle, KTVU)

EMISSIONS: Monday’s surprise move by automakers to back President Trump’s fight against California emissions rules followed days of pressure by the White House. (New York Times)

COAL:
A Wyoming court rules state environmental regulators erred when rejecting a company’s permit application to mine, clearing a path for the first state-permitted coal mine in nearly half a century. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Experts at a conference express concerns the coal industry may have harmed its “social license” in Wyoming. (WyoFile)
A southwest Wyoming community has yet to develop a transition plan amid signs of decline for fossil fuel industries. (WyoFile)

PIPELINES: The State Department is collecting public comments on its revised environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Wyoming Public Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Elon Musk says shifting resources from a solar company he bought three years ago helped save Tesla from bankruptcy as production of the Model 3 was ramped up. (E&E News, subscription) 

SOLAR: California-based manufacturer SunPower’s restructuring initiatives are on track despite a modest loss in Q3, the company is preparing for a storage rollout in 2020. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
A writer says PG&E customers need to organize a utility bill strike to drive PG&E’s valuation to zero and allow the public to take over. (VICE)
• A political and public policy writer says Warren Buffett is not the solution for California’s problems with PG&E. (American Prospect)
A former Wyoming lawmaker says the state’s new coal bankruptcy committee can learn from previous efforts at improving Wyoming’s complex tax procedures. (WyoFile)
Two California editorial boards say the state’s utility regulator continues to fall far short at “assuring Californians access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services” and needs a new approach. (Mercury News)
A California columnist says that having claimed ownership of the very complex PG&E and wildfire crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom must now deliver. (CAlMatters)

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