Western Energy News

Wyoming’s post-coal economy inhibited by political inertia

COAL: Wyoming is at a crossroads where it needs to start laying the groundwork for a post-coal economy, but ongoing political inertia is getting in the way. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Wyoming lawmakers revive calls for a tax on wind and solar generation to help the state’s struggling budget. (Casper Star Tribune)

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SOLAR: Montana’s Supreme Court rules state regulators violated state and federal laws against rate discrimination in granting NorthWestern Energy’s request to cut rates it pays to small solar projects. (KXLH)

NUCLEAR: Citing cost concerns, a Northern Utah city withdraws from participating in a next-generation nuclear power plant and another city is considering doing the same. (Deseret News) 

NATURAL GAS: The CEO of California’s grid operator says an extension to keep four of the state’s gas-fired power plants open could be necessary if enough new power supplies are not brought online next year. (Los Angeles Times)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Two new lawsuits are filed opposing the Trump administration’s plan to allow oil and gas leasing along much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge‘s coastal plain. (Associated Press)
Conservation groups file a legal action opposing oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.  (E&E News, subscription)
A Wyoming Outdoor Council official questions why parcels once deemed unsuitable for leasing are now being included in the Bureau of Land Management’s December sale. (Casper Star Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado’s two top oil and gas producing counties are questioning the authority of state regulators to establish minimum standards. (Greeley Tribune)
New Mexico’s Environment Department says it doesn’t have the authority to deny permits for oil and gas facilities over ozone concerns. (New Mexico Political Report)

HYDROGEN: A bipartisan group of California lawmakers push to release $20 million in state funds allocated for building hydrogen fuelling stations. (H2 View)

GRID: Disagreement continues on the origin of a grid battery fire in Arizona last year that ended in an explosion. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: Pacific Northwest utilities are working on a new model of regional coordination in sharing resources in a bid to overcome the threat of power shortages. (Utility Dive)                                              

COMMENTARY:
The former chair of California’s grid operator says the state’s power grid needs additional generation in reserve and more storage that can dispatch energy for longer periods of time. (CalMatters)
A New Mexico think tank fellow says the state’s oil and gas industry has created a dependency model that keeps New Mexico from being its best self. (KRWG)

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