Western Energy News

Utah project breaks a cost barrier for net-zero housing

EFFICIENCY: Developers in Salt Lake City have built a net zero apartment building for less than traditional costs, proving the energy efficient buildings don’t have to be expensive and cumbersome to build. (Deseret News)

ALSO: Proposed changes will make it easier for building owners to comply with a new Denver ordinance requiring energy-efficient roof upgrades. (Colorado Public Radio)

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OVERSIGHT: Two Arizona Republican solar advocates who lost an election for the state’s regulatory body to candidates backed by millions in undisclosed donations seek reform to state disclosure laws. (Capitol Media Services)

• Alaska will dip into its oil wealth fund to pay for state government operations since the first time it was established in the 1970’s. (Reuters)
• ConocoPhillips confirms a major oil discovery on federally managed land on Alaska’s North Slope. (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)
• Wyoming regulators are scolding  a coal bed methane company for failing to obtain surface agreements on idle wells in the state’s Powder River Basin. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Idaho regulators ask a Houston oil and gas company to explain discrepancies between the amount of oil they produced from wells in the state and the amount reported sold. (Associated Press)
• A Southern California city adopts rules preventing new oil and gas drilling near residential areas, hospitals and schools. (The Bakersfield Californian)
• Officials with an oil and gas company proposing to drill near a northern Colorado city walk out of a city council meeting after a heated exchange with a councilman. (Boulder Daily Camera)

SOLAR: The owner of a bankrupt Oregon cemetery has signed an easement with a renewable energy developer to build a solar farm on part of the property. (Associated Press)

• A Boise utility is asking Idaho regulators for permission to speed up plans to replace aging plastic natural gas pipe that has been linked to fires and explosions in other states. (Idaho Statesman)
• Some Idaho customers are praising the acquisition of a utility that co-owns a controversial Montana coal plant because the deal includes steps toward ending operations at the facility sooner than planned. (The Lewiston Tribune)

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ELECTRIC CARS: An automakers’ lobbying group has sent letters to Oregon and eight other states pressing them to follow California’s lead to spur demand for zero-emissions vehicles. (Green Car Reports)

• Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can be done without harm to wildlife and the environment, says U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. (Seattle Times)
• Washington state agencies and cities need to make a renewed commitment to a 2007 law requiring them to try to convert their fleets to electric vehicles, says the editorial board of The Daily Herald.
• A Colorado congressman says drilling and protecting Colorado’s scenic landscape don’t have to be mutually exclusive. (Steamboat Pilot)


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