Western Energy News

‘Unprecedented’ power shutoffs underway in California

UTILITIES: Power shutoffs in California are underway this morning as PG&E began cutting power to about 800,000 customers in a bid to avert wildfire risk; Southern California Edison is also considering extended “public safety power shutoffs.” (Los Angeles Times, CNN)

HYDROPOWER: A recently formed hydropower company seeks federal approval to dam the Little Colorado River in northeastern Arizona, renewing Hopi and Navajo Nation concerns about protecting sacred tribal sites, endangered fish, and serenity. (Associated Press)

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PIPELINES:
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, who is also running for governor, seeks to intervene in a lawsuit aiming to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the project “will bring jobs and economic development to Montana.” (Missoula Current)
Pre-construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline expected to start this month in South Dakota and Montana is now on hold; a federal hearing today will consider a challenge by two indgenous environmental groups. (Rapid City Journal, S&P Global Platts)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says in a speech to an oil and gas industry gathering that she wants to collaborate on methane emissions regulations. (Albuquerque Journal)
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s administration still permits oil and gas drilling in the northern Front Range despite an executive order aimed at improving air quality. (Colorado Independent)
• Critics say local resources in New Mexico are being hammered by the Trump administration’s oil and gas “energy dominance” agenda and changing the nature of a rural community. (E&E News, subscription)
• A global energy and manufacturing employment recruiter says “buzz” about how the Denver-Julesburg Basin could be “the next Permian” is what drew it to open an office in Denver, Colorado. (Denver Post)

PUBLIC LANDS: Colorado environmental groups file a federal lawsuit opposing a Bureau of Land Management plan for oil and gas leasing, saying it did not fully consider climate. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
A federal court ruling gives coal companies a temporary reprieve from complying with Obama-era reforms to royalty calculations to the federal government. (E&E News, subscription)
The 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, is in the process of burning down its final coal pile and will stay online through Nov. 10 before going offline permanently. (Navajo-Hopi Observer)

CLIMATE: A new law in Colorado means lawmakers can request reports on their bill’s contribution to climate change. (Colorado Independent)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A New Mexico county debates the creation of a renewable energy finance district. (Las Cruces Sun News)

ELECTRIFICATION: As some Northern California cities ban natural gas in new homes, a debate looms over the affordability of all-electric homes. (Pasadena Star-News)

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ANALYSIS: Microgids are one of several alternatives to the “public safety power shutoffs” by California utilities to prevent wildfires. (MIT Technology Review)

COMMENTARY:
A Nevada editorial board says the future of the state’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant is bleak in the wake of a mismanagement lawsuit and news that the project could be headed for bankruptcy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Citing the 30% drop in coal production in Wyoming, a columnist says President Trump’s pledge to save US coal is failing and coal country is in crisis as a result. (CNBC)
A new analysis by a nonprofit think tank says the Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s purchase of three coal mines is a significant financial risk for the Navajo Nation with nearly $1 billion in liabilities to clean up. (Sightline Institute)

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