Western Energy News

Utility-backed front group fighting California gas bans

NATURAL GAS: Documents show a California utility is behind a purported consumer group that is fighting natural gas bans in Berkeley and other cities. (The Guardian)

UTILITIES: California utilities agree to pay $10.5 billion into a state wildfire fund in exchange for liability protection. (Los Angeles Times)

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SOLAR:
Environmental advocates remain divided over a proposed 690 MW solar project outside Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Sun)
While cloud cover complicated a grid failure in Hawaii earlier this week, solar and battery systems quickly helped with recovery as an oil-fired power plant was repaired. (PV Magazine)

CLIMATE:
A new report ranking 75 cities on energy efficiency and climate policies includes 10 southwestern cities with Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona in the top 20. (news releases)
• A new study by Drexel University and the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests that reining in greenhouse gas emissions will save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars in the Rocky Mountain region. (news release)
• Officials in a Colorado town consider a climate declaration, noting that the co-op that serves them is already aggressively adopting clean energy. (Aspen Times)

COAL:
• Two of Blackjewel’s coal mines in Wyoming could reopen if a judge approves a purchase offer. (Associated Press)
• New Mexico officials are forming an advisory group to help communities adapt to an impending coal plant closure. (Farmington Daily Times)

OIL AND GAS:
• A recent California spill is drawing attention to energy-intensive steam extraction that is used in more than half the state’s wells. (KCET)
Alaska’s governor has awarded a no-bid contract to study oil taxes to his former chief economist to prepare for oil tax debate. (Anchorage Daily News)

NUCLEAR: Some federal officials and experts argue that nuclear energy has to be a significant tool in mitigating climate change and are calling for reactivation of Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site. (Nevada Current)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Navajo Nation officials met with an Arizona utility to review the progress of a partnership to advance renewable energy projects; meanwhile, Navajo council delegates say there is no real plan for the Nation’s transition to renewable energy. (Indian Country Today, Navajo Times)

HYDRO: The Nez Perce Tribe is challenging Oregon’s water quality certification of Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project in advance of a new FERC license being issued for the facility. (Indian Country Today)

GEOTHERMAL: Hawaii researchers say most of the state’s geothermal potential has yet to be explored, but also note there are risks in doing so. (Hawaii Public Radio)

BIOMASS: Arizona regulators’ recent rejection of a biomass requirement is expected to be a financial blow to communities dependent on forestry. (White Mountain Independent)

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EFFICIENCY: A Montana utility has stopped installing new LED streetlights in Helena after city officials say the project violates lighting ordinances. (Helena Independent Record) 

COMMENTARY: A Montana State Representative is critical of recent legislation brought by the state’s largest public utility and calls on his colleagues to pursue an energy future that marries economic enterprise with environmental stewardship. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

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