Western Energy News

Utah governor questions plan to sue California over coal

COAL:
• Utah’s governor says he’s not convinced the state should spend $2 million in taxpayer money to sue California over its plan to phase out coal. (Associated Press)
• Navajo leaders continue to press Arizona lawmakers to consider a tax exemption for a coal-fired power plant that’s set to close in 2019. (KNAU)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: An Arizona ballot measure to require a 50 percent renewable energy standard is backed by several public health organizations. (Phoenix Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• A Tempe-based solar panel manufacturer has been awarded a contract to build the largest solar plant in the South. (PV Magazine)
• A northern Colorado power provider is seeking bids for a 20-megawatt or more solar project with battery storage capacity. (The Coloradoan)

COLORADO: A bill to restore funding for the Colorado Energy Office advances in the state legislature. (Daily Sentinel)

PIPELINES: The Texas energy company developing the Dakota Access pipeline saw its profits quadruple last year as a result of the controversial project’s approval and corporate tax cuts. (Bloomberg)

OIL AND GAS:
• Even with stop-gap measures in place, the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry in Colorado is running out of money fast and might not be able to cover its payroll by summer. (Colorado Independent)
• Oil and gas companies drilling in Texas cite the need to use more recycled water and less fresh water. (Midland Reporter-Telegram)
• Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells oil refinery workers in Philadelphia that federal ethanol rules are creating a windfall for Wall Street speculators while hurting the oil and gas industry. (Houston Chronicle)

UTILITIES:
• A top Nevada utility regulator is launching a study to determine whether taxpayers are receiving appropriate rate reductions from publicly regulated utilities as a result of federal tax cuts. (Nevada Independent)
• Nevada’s largest electricity provider has tapped a California cloud-based technology company to help it conduct home audits, giving the utility the opportunity to to test artificial intelligence and machine learning. (Utility Dive)

GRID: Companies seeking to boost their renewable energy use are calling for transmission line improvements in Utah and other states. (Utah Public Radio)

CARBON CAPTURE: Recently approved federal tax credits for carbon capture and storage are expected to make the technology profitable, providing a big boost to project like the NetPower plant in Texas. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: As Colorado looks to implement new rules for gas flow lines, residential developers must also be held accountable for mistakes like the one that led to to a deadly explosion in Firestone last year, the editorial board of the Greeley Tribune says.

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