Western Energy News

Washington passes 100% clean energy bill

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A bill requiring 100% clean energy in Washington by 2045 gains final approval in the state Senate and now heads to the governor to sign. (Greentech Media)

HYDROPOWER: Idaho and Oregon have reached an agreement on a hydroelectric project requiring an Idaho utility to spend $312 million on water quality improvements and fish habitat. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES:
• A bankruptcy judge has approved plans by California’s largest utility to pay $235 million in employee bonuses over objections from wildfire victims. (Merced Sun-Star)
• Hawaii lawmakers pass a bill allowing state regulators to give better electric rates to farmers who grow crops in greenhouses over objections from other agricultural producers. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

OIL & GAS:
• Several environmental groups have filed separate lawsuits challenging oil and gas lease sales in the Four Corners region over concerns about potential impacts to American Indian artifacts and sage grouse habitat. (Deseret News)
• Environmentalists want California’s governor to phase out oil and gas development and believe he’s considering such a move. (Los Angeles Times)
• A remote Alaskan village surrounded by a national wildlife refuge is divided over plans to drill there. (Reuters)
• California’s governor has directed state regulators to determine why gasoline prices have soared. (San Francisco Chronicle)

NUCLEAR: A Santa Fe-based clean energy advocacy group has asked New Mexico regulators to investigate plans by the state’s largest utility to purchase its expiring leases on an Arizona nuclear plant. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

STORAGE: An explosion at an Arizona battery facility that injured several firefighters comes at a sensitive time for the fledgling storage industry. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• The wind industry is celebrating Wyoming regulators’ decision to award a key permit in a $3 billion transmission line project that will potentially bring 3 gigawatts of new wind power to the West Coast. (Greentech Media)
• Fourteen companies have told federal energy regulators they’d like to build the first floating offshore wind farm off the coast of California. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• The future of a bill seeking to save a struggling Montana coal plant appears in jeopardy as state lawmakers held off on appointing a panel that could resurrect the stalled legislation. (KXLH)
• Employees of two bankrupt coal companies with mines in Wyoming are asking for part of a settlement between their former employers and a global consulting firm. (WyoFile)

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SOLAR: The installation of solar panels at an organic specialty grain warehouse in Montana is being celebrated by local officials as an investment in rural clean energy. (Great Falls Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the Santa Cruz Sentinel says federal tax credits for electric vehicles should be scaled back.
• The dispute between New Mexico’s largest utility and state regulators over whether Facebook should pick up half the tab of a multi-million dollar transmission line illustrates why “New Mexico can’t have nice things,” says a Republican lawmaker. (Albuquerque Journal)

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