Western Energy News

Washington utility has ‘no problem’ meeting demand during coal plant shutdown

COAL: A Washington utility reports “there’s been no problem meeting demand” while a Montana coal plant has been partially idled since June. (Seattle Times)

ALSO:
• A southern Colorado town tries to balance its desire to keep coal jobs on the local payroll with residents’ desire for clean energy. (Colorado Public Radio)
• New Mexico lawmakers grapple over how to help a county offset any economic losses from a likely coal plant closing. (Farmington Daily Times)

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NUCLEAR: An Arizona clean energy ballot measure could threaten the viability of the state’s lone nuclear plant. (High Country News)

BIOFUELS: Researchers in New Mexico are trying to determine if a particular strain of algae can be mass produced as an affordable biofuel. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

ELECTRIC CARS: Mining companies are starting to scour the West for cobalt, a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars and cell phones. (BBC)

FUEL CELLS: California fuel cell company Bloom is now selling public shares, but the industry still has a long road to profitability. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS:
• The supporters of a Colorado ballot measure requiring tougher drilling setbacks have recovered thousands of voter petitions that went missing after a payment dispute with the firm hired to collect signatures. (Associated Press)
• Meanwhile, a study by a Colorado business coalition claims the setback measure would cost the state 10,000 jobs and $1 billion in taxes if approved by voters. (Colorado Politics)
• The race for two seats on the board that regulates Arizona utilities has become focused on commissioner ethics and the role renewable energy should play in the future. (Arizona Daily Star)

OIL AND GAS: The Oregon Supreme Court upholds a decision to allow a port to be dredged to build a deep-water marine terminal where ships could load liquefied natural gas from a planned pipeline. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: A Kauai utility begins searching for developers to build a renewable energy facility as it prepares to launch a community-based clean energy program. (Garden Island News)

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SOLAR: The state of Utah launches a website to help potential solar customers avoid getting scammed by fraudulent companies. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY:
• While acknowledging the need to conserve farmland, the editorial board of the Yakima Herald still says solar energy could provide a huge boost to the local economy.
• Colorado will never meet the “arbitrary, pie-in-the-sky” kind of mandates of California’s emission standards without pouring millions into this “wasteful kind of welfare for the wealthy,” says a state senator. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• The editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal criticizes environmental groups for opposing an energy choice ballot measure backed by the newspaper’s owner.

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