Western Energy News

Utah plans mileage fee for electric vehicles

TRANSPORTATION: The Utah Department of Transportation will offer a voluntary mileage fee for electric and hybrid vehicles in lieu of a flat annual charge, which some lawmakers see as an eventual replacement for the gasoline tax. (Deseret News)

UTILITIES:
• PG&E officials say they’ve discovered more than 1,000 safety risks while inspecting transmission lines and distribution poles over the past few months and have fixed most of the problems. (Associated Press)
• Arizona regulators are set to consider an emergency rule today preventing the state’s utilities from shutting off power during the hottest months of the year. (Arizona Capitol Times)

PIPELINES:
• The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline could start as early as September, project officials say. (Reuters)
• Meanwhile, officials in the Pacific Northwest brace for a surge in oil tanker traffic as a result of the pipeline expansion. (Seattle Times)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico’s land commissioner is accusing the company behind a proposal to temporarily store tons of high-level radioactive waste of not addressing potential safety issues in its filings with federal regulators. (Associated Press)

POLITICS:
• Oregon’s governor says she’s willing to deploy the state police to bring lawmakers back to the capitol if Republicans follow through on their threat to stage a walkout before a vote on cap-and-trade legislation. (Willamette Week)
• Meanwhile, truckers, loggers and other opponents of cap-and-trade legislation rallied outside of the Oregon capitol as the bill now heads to the Senate for final approval. (The Oregonian)
• Presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveils three indoor billboards near the headquarters of Iowa’s largest utility challenging the company to stop burning coal. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• An “avian incident” started a fire at one of California’s biggest solar farms, which won’t be fully operational again until July 1. (Bloomberg)
• Solar installations increased 19 percent in Colorado during the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2018, according to a new report. (Denver Post)

COAL: California’s attorney general signals his intent to sue the Trump administration over its decision to roll back Obama-era environmental rules limiting emissions from coal plants. (San Francisco Chronicle)

OIL & GAS:
• Attorneys representing Boulder County, Colorado say they expect a decision soon in their lawsuit challenging state regulators’ approval of local drilling plans. (Longmont Times-Call)
• A recently appointed Wyoming group will try to balance the needs of the state’s oil and gas industry with big game migration. (Casper Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Two Oregon environmental justice advocates say market-based cap-and-trade laws favor big businesses and disadvantage frontline communities. (The Oregonian)

 

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