Western Energy News

White House revives plans for new drilling in California

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration is moving forward to allow new drilling on about 725,000 acres of federal land in central California over the protests of environmentalists and some elected officials. (Sacramento Bee)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California-based electric vehicle charging network says its data suggests scaled-up electric vehicle charging wouldn’t cripple grids. (Greentech Media)

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UTILITIES:
• California utilities would probably drain a $10 billion wildfire emergency fund over the next decade, according to an analysis by a state-commissioned energy advisory firm. (Bloomberg)
• Nevada lawmakers consider a bill authorizing state regulators to allow “alternative ratemaking,” which could have a big impact on the state’s largest utility. (The Nevada Independent)
• California regulators ask for information about the safety experience and qualifications of PG&E’s new board members. (Utility Dive)
• Nevada’s governor appoints a new top utility regulator. (KTNV)

RESEARCH: A federal renewable energy lab in Colorado strikes a $100 million deal with a major oil company to conduct research into low-emission technologies. (Denver Post)

SOLAR:
• Residents of Missoula, Montana are pleading with state regulators to oppose a utility’s efforts to increase rates for net-metering customers. (Missoula Current)
• A recently installed solar array will provide more than half the energy needed by a California hospital. (Solar Industry Magazine)

CLIMATE: Oregon Democrats unveil what’s close to the final version of a cap and trade policy, complex and sweeping legislation that could put the state at the forefront of the fight against climate change. (The Oregonian)

COAL:
• Montana’s congressional Republicans are calling for an extension of a federal tax credit for “refined coal” in hopes of sparking investment in a struggling local plant. (Billings Gazette)
• A utility is considering reducing the capacity of a Wyoming coal plant to meet federal clean air rules. (Wyoming Public Media)

RENEWABLES: Two federal lawmakers from New Mexico are sponsors of a new bill that aims for carbon-free emissions from electric generation by 2050. (Albuquerque Journal)

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POLITICS: Washington’s new clean energy law could help burnish Gov. Jay Inslee’s reputation as the only presidential candidate taking serious action to fight climate change. (Crosscut)

COMMENTARY:
• A program director with a Colorado environmental group says adopting a zero-emissions vehicle program is one of the single biggest actions the state could take to reduce air pollution, tackle climate change and save consumers money. (ColoradoPolitics)
• A New Mexico congressman and a U.S. Senator from Minnesota say their new legislation mandating carbon-free electric generation by 2050 is necessary for the environment, jobs and economic competitiveness. (The Hill)

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