Western Energy News

Wildfire risks may force California utilities to turn out the lights

UTILITIES: California utilities warn of more power cutoffs this summer to avert wildfire risks, but many communities are still not prepared. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: Officials with a Tucson-area utility say they will save $13 million a year by joining a Western wholesale power market. (Arizona Daily Star)

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CLIMATE: Questions emerge about two Oregon universities’ ties to a group that is spreading misinformation on climate change and is working to oppose Gov. Kate Brown’s legislative efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. (The Oregonian)

RENEWABLES: Springtime is ushering in new records for renewable energy in places like California where last month the state briefly became an energy exporter. (Grist)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado air quality regulators vote to hold hearings later this summer on a proposal to adopt California’s zero emission vehicle standards. (Denver Post)

COAL: A Wyoming-based coal company, the third largest in the nation in terms of volume, files for bankruptcy. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY:
• Washington and Colorado are among the states pushing back against the Trump administration’s plan to roll back efficiency standards for light bulbs. (The Hill)
• Two new Colorado communities are powered by smart technology and clean energy, possibly serving as a national proving ground. (Denver Post)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota officials say they are preparing to sue Washington over its new law requiring oil shipped by rail to have its volatility reduced. (Associated Press)

BIOMASS: The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected a power purchase agreement between the state’s largest utility and a biomass plant operator, ruling that regulators who approved the deal failed to consider its impact on greenhouse gas emissions. (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

SOLAR: A Colorado soup kitchen becomes one of five in the country to run on solar power. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

POLITICS: The Nevada senator who was the architect behind the state’s new renewable energy standard has quickly become a respected local energy policy maker, colleagues say. (Las Vegas Sun)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Nevada’s U.S. senators toured a site north of Las Vegas where the federal government secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina last year. (Associated Press)

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PUBLIC LANDS: The U.S. Interior Department’s headquarters is moving to the West, and several Utah cities are contenders. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY:
• Nuclear power should be part of Washington’s clean energy standard, says the CEO of a Northwest utility. (Tri-City Herald)
• California’s law requiring 100% clean energy “has a big hole in it” because it doesn’t include enough storage, says a former local utility executive. (CALmatters)

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