Western Energy News

Utility bankruptcy threatens California climate progress

PG&E BANKRUPTCY: PG&E’s bankruptcy could jeopardize California’s plan to fight climate change through investing in renewable energy projects. (Los Angeles Times)

• A once obscure legal doctrine has played a major role in driving California’s largest utility to the brink of bankruptcy. (Bloomberg)
• A Northern California decimated by a deadly wildfire last year sues PG&E one day after its signals its plans to file for bankruptcy. (Associated Press)

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• Washington state lawmakers are set to consider a plan that calls for phasing out coal power in six years, a move that could force a Montana plant to close years ahead of schedule. (Billings Gazette)
• Wyoming’s new governor asks state lawmakers for $10 million to help pay for the construction of an experimental coal plant designed to capture about 75 percent of its emissions. (Casper Star Tribune)
• A recent BLM decision has effectively greenlighted a coal company’s plan to dig about a mile underground through federal land to reach deposits on nearby state and private lands. (Salt Lake Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Oregon officials release a 10-year plan to improve energy efficiency for the state’s low-income residents. (Utility Dive)

RENEWABLES: A Colorado power provider gets ensnared in the transformation of power system economics which favors clean energy. (Utility Dive)

• Nevada’s governor appoints a Reno city councilman and former assemblyman to lead the state’s energy office. (Reno Gazette Journal)
• Democratic lawmakers in Colorado say they will file legislation seeking to force state regulators to prioritize human health and the environment when issuing drilling permits in response to a recent court ruling. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
• Oregon lawmakers might not include the state’s current carbon pollution targets for 2035 in a new bill capping emissions. (Sightline Institute)

CLIMATE: Greenhouse gas emissions in Washington increased by 6 percent from 2012 to 2015, putting the state in jeopardy of failing to meet its future targets. (Seattle Times)

PUBLIC LANDS: President Trump’s decision to shrink a Utah monument and open surrounding lands to energy development may have a minimal economic payback. (Washington Post)

• Colorado regulators approve a company’s plan to drill 24 wells about 500 feet away from a mobile home park, fueling the debate over how close oil and gas operations should be to homes, businesses and schools. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• A major oil company sues Alaska over six years worth of royalty payments which could be worth millions of dollars. (Anchorage Daily News)

UTILITIES: Oregon regulators halt their review of the $5.3 billion sale of a Spokane-based utility to a Canadian company after counterparts in Washington and Idaho decide to nix the deal. (The Spokesman-Review)

COMMENTARY: It’s time California has a frank discussion about its reliance on gigantic, profit-making companies for its energy future given the threat of climate change, says the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times.

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