Western Energy News

Utah advocates protest fee hikes on hybrid, electric cars

ELECTRIC CARS: Clean energy advocates in Utah protest proposed fee increases on electric and hybrid vehicles, saying drivers of the vehicles should be applauded, not taxed. (Deseret News)

UTILITIES: Excel Energy announces a partnership with the city of Denver to work toward the city’s goal of cutting emissions by 80 percent by 2050. (news release)

OIL AND GAS:
• The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission charges two Texas oil and gas firms with fraud, accusing company officials of using investors’ money to buy booze, drugs and strippers. (Texas Law Book)
• Oklahoma oil and gas regulators consider imposing new fees for companies drilling in the state. (Daily Oklahoman)
• Many Oklahoma oil and gas companies are using federal tax cut savings to pay down debts. (KGOU)
• Oklahoma experiences another earthquake in a shale-rich region. (UPI)
• Upcoming NAFTA talks will shape the future of the natural gas industry in Texas, which is supported by growing sales to Mexico. (Houston Chronicle)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• In the wake of a Houston power provider’s decision to sell off most of its wind and solar assets, Wall Street investors hope fourth-quarter filings provide clues about its future. (Bloomberg)
• A new research partnership in Nevada will help commercialize weather-prediction software for solar and wind energy systems. (news release)

WIND: The wind industry trade group in Oklahoma denies hiring a Texas political operative who is being questioned by law enforcement authorities trying to determine who put a tracking device on a state lawmaker’s truck. (Daily Oklahoman)

UTILITIES:
• One of Arizona’s largest utilities hires a new chief executive officer. (Arizona Republic)
• A Nevada utility asks regulators to issue an order that would make it easier for them to build and own large scale renewable energy plants through a rate change. (Nevada Independent)

SOLAR: A proposed solar farm in West Texas will provide power for about 50,000 homes in Austin. (KXAN)

COMMENTARY:
• An official with a Tucson utility says new natural gas generators being installed at one of its generating stations are needed to support its increased use of renewable energy. (Arizona Daily Star)
• The editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette says urban sprawl threatens both affordable housing and oil and gas production.

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