Western Energy News

Xcel deal clears barrier for planned wind farms on Texas-New Mexico border

• Xcel Energy announces a deal with rural electric cooperatives and others that could help it gain regulatory approval to build two massive wind farms on the Texas and New Mexico border. (Associated Press)
• Oklahoma investigators link a GPS tracking device placed on a state legislator’s truck to a Texas political operative known as “Dr. Dirt.” The legislator has accused the wind industry, but it’s still unknown who hired the operative. (Daily Oklahoman)

• U.S. shale company officials are scheduled to meet with leaders of OPEC in Houston next week to discuss how to manage a global oil glut. (Reuters)
• An Oklahoma regulator issues new rules aimed at reducing earthquakes created by fracking. (Reuters)
• Texas oil and gas companies paid more than $11 billion in royalties and taxes last year, up from $9 billion in 2016. (Houston Chronicle)
Nevada regulators want public comment on a proposed $30 million natural gas expansion project that would serve almost 800 customers in the Las Vegas area. (Daily Energy Insider)

NUCLEAR: As elected officials in Nevada gear up for another fight, a federal advisory panel takes an initial step in the lengthy process of determining whether a nuclear waste repository should be built at Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COAL: Navajo leaders continue to seek support for a legislative plan that might extend the life of a coal-fired power plant they say provides hundreds of jobs for tribal members in Arizona. (Navajo Hopi Observer)
Despite a pledge to use more renewable energy, a Nevada utility is seeking permission from regulators to continue operating the state’s last coal-fired power plant through 2025. (Nevada Independent)

SOLAR: Utility-scale solar energy is booming in Texas. (GreenBiz)

BIOFUELS: Corn state senators reject a plan to make changes to federal ethanol rules, which Texas Senator Ted Cruz hopes to rewrite in a bid to support the oil and gas industry. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A transportation bill that advanced out of the Utah Senate would raise vehicle registration fees and includes a hefty fee hike for drivers of electric and hybrid cars. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY: Arguing that it’s more likely for a person to be involved in a car crash than an accident caused by the oil and gas industry, the Greeley Tribune‘s editorial board says 24 new wells slated to be drilled near a school should be allowed to proceed.

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