Western Energy News

Western states join lawsuit challenging rollback of EPA pollution rules

COAL: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington are among 22 states suing to overturn new Trump administration rules on pollution, saying they will worsen smog and climate change by keeping “the oldest and dirtiest power plants in the country on life support.” (The Mercury News)

ALSO: The court overseeing Blackjewel’s bankruptcy authorizes the termination of 401(k) plans for the company’s miners, satisfying one of the conditions of Contura Energy’s purchase of the company’s Wyoming mines and giving workers the option to receive a cashout. (Wyoming Public Media)

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OIL & GAS:
• Commissioners for Garfield County, Colorado, say new state rules governing oil and gas permits will create a recession in the area. (Post Independent)
• Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment says a new law that allows local governments to enact stricter rules on the oil and gas industry doesn’t weaken its authority. (Associated Press)
• San Luis Obispo, California, considers an ordinance prohibiting natural gas appliances in new residential and commercial buildings. (Cal Coast Times)
• Oil and gas groups praise the Trump administration’s decision weakening endangered species protections, saying it will speed decision-making on infrastructure projects such as pipelines and transmission lines. (S&P Global)

EMISSIONS:
• Nevada utility commissioners agree to work with counterparts in California, Oregon and Washington to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. (Nevada Current)
• Native American residents encourage New Mexico to adopt rules regulating methane emissions from oil and gas operations, through state rules would not apply to tribal lands. (Farmington Daily Times)

GRID: A 295 MW solar-storage virtual power plant proposed in Los Angeles could become the first full-scale test of the technology. (Utility Dive)

CLEAN TECH: Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corp. says clean energy laws in California and New York have contributed to its shares hitting all-time lows because its cells typically run on natural gas. (Bloomberg)

WIND:
• New Mexico’s governor signs an American Wind Week proclamation to encourage the state’s youth to consider careers in wind energy. (KOB 4)
• New Mexico’s abundance of wind and available land makes the state ripe for wind energy development, industry leaders say. (KOB 4)

EFFICIENCY: Aloha United Way’s headquarters in Honolulu will save $40,000 annually through new energy efficiency measures. (Pacific Business News)

NUCLEAR: California state senators introduce a resolution urging Congress and the president to approve legislation to expedite the removal of California’s nuclear waste to safer locations. (news release)

STORAGE: A clean energy developer is ready to build a pumped hydro storage facility on private land in Montana, but it needs to find a customer before breaking ground. (Greentech Media) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado’s governor and other state officials praise electric vehicle innovation as regulators prepare to issue a landmark ruling requiring automakers to sell more electric cars in the state. (Westword)

HYDRO: It should cost just under $434 million to remove four hydroelectric dams along a river in Southern Oregon and Northern California, according to a new filing with FERC. (Capital Press)

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TECHNOLOGY: Stanford University develops a saltwater battery that could offer emissions-free power to coastal wastewater treatment plants, which account for 3% of total U.S. electricity demand. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• While California rightfully sues the Trump administration for weakening air pollution rules, there are individual actions we should be taking to lower emissions, says an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.
• As wildfires become more common, California needs a robust energy system that ensures electrical power will always be available, says the president of a professional firefighters’ association. (CalMatters)

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