Western Energy News

Washington voters could drive national climate policy

ELECTIONS: A Washington state ballot measure creating a carbon fee, if approved, stands to reshape climate politics in the state and beyond. (The Atlantic)

ALSO:
• The Colorado ballot measure seeking to increase drilling setbacks has caused some political fractures among Democrats. (Vox)
• Polls show an Arizona clean energy initiative faces an uphill climb despite the massive amount of money a California billionaire has pumped into the race. (Arizona Republic)
• An energy reporter breaks down the pros and cons of a Nevada ballot measure seeking to deregulate the state’s electricity market. (KUNR)

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SOLAR:
• A central Washington plant that makes the raw ingredient in solar panels may become the first casualty in the brewing trade war between the U.S. and China. (Seattle Times)
• As rooftop solar increases in Idaho, one utility will likely change its rate structure for net metering customers. (Times-News)
• Oregon researchers find that shade provided by solar panels might help boost agricultural production on non-irrigated farmland by helping soil retain moisture. (Capital Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• California’s largest utility proposes new electric vehicle charging rates, a move company officials say will make charging simpler and more affordable. (news release)
• A small California farming community buys an electric car to serve as the town’s de facto mass transit after acquiring a grant. (Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee)

UTILITIES: Facing billions of dollars in damages from the 2017 wildfires, California’s largest utility will renew its push next year to change the state’s strict liability standard of holding power companies liable for damages caused by their equipment. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

COAL: A major Wyoming coal producer wins a round in its legal fight against an oil and gas company hoping to drill on the same land it mines. (Casper Star Tribune)

PIPELINES: A coalition of environmental groups are worried a plan to upgrade six miles of natural gas pipeline in northwestern Washington will increase pollution and sprawl. (The Daily Herald)

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS:
• California’s next governor must make sure the state continues to blaze a trail toward a growing economy powered by clean energy, says the CEOs of ClifBar & Company and the leader of a Boston non-profit focused on sustainability. (Forbes)
• The editorial board for the Las Vegas Review-Journal says it’s “entirely appropriate” for Nevada residents to be able to choose their energy provider as a state ballot measure seeks to allow.
• Increased electricity consumption from electric vehicles could be a boon for utilities in places like California and Maine, says a University of Texas researcher. (Forbes)

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