Western Energy News

Wyoming’s coal industry approaching “next phase” of decline

COAL: Arch Resources’ “systemic winding down” of thermal coal mining foreshadows an even steeper decline for the industry in Wyoming, a state that still lacks a coordinated plan to help communities adapt. (WyoFile)

ALSO:
• The EPA approves a Utah emissions reduction plan for two Pacificorp coal-fired power plants, but environmentalists say it isn’t enough. (Associated Press)
• Montana regulators approve a utility’s 20-year energy plan that includes coal plant closures, a first for the state. (Billings Gazette)

PUBLIC LANDS:
A federal court ruled last week that the Bureau of Land Management did not adequately consider how leasing Western public land to oil and gas companies could impact climate change. (Casper Star-Tribune)
The Bureau of Land Management is auctioning oil and gas leases in New Mexico today that overlap parts of the Permian Basin. (Reuters)

OVERSIGHT: Western states are among those electing utility regulators who could influence energy issues. (E&E News)

UTILITIES: The latest lawsuit against PG&E alleges the deadly and destructive Zogg Fire is a result of the utility’s “malevolent corporate culture” prioritizing profits over public safety. (Redding Record Searchlight)

GRID: California is seeing an increase in microgrid deployments to ease battery and solar array usage and cope with planned power shut-offs prompted by the state’s destructive wildfires. (E&E News)

CLIMATE: Analysis of Western moisture levels in August and September finds low levels of moisture in vegetation is fueling wildfires, the result of record heat and dryness across the region. (E&E News)

NUCLEAR:
An advocacy group is calling on FERC to investigate whether the retirement of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in 2025 violates federal reliability standards. (S&P Global)
Six Utah cities have now withdrawn from a proposed $6 billion small modular reactor nuclear power plant in Idaho. (Deseret News) 

OIL & GAS:
An analyst says Joe Biden’s energy proposal does not mean an end to drilling in New Mexico. (Houston Chronicle)
Occidental Petroleum is joining New Mexico’s produced water research program, facilitating evaluation of pilot and large-scale technology developed during the work. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

BIOMASS: An Alaska village is developing a biomass-fueled district heating system in hopes of cutting dependence on imported fuels. (Alaska Public Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Washington county is investing in a microgrid system that can charge a car and allow the vehicle’s energy to flow back to the grid for support during a power outage. (Microgrid Knowledge)

COMMENTARY: California’s State Treasurer explains how her office stands ready to assist the state’s car buyers realize the environmental and cost saving benefits of buying electric vehicles. (Cal Matters)

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