UTILITIES: Xcel Energy is pulling out of a Western utilities group, a move that could derail efforts by other Colorado utilities to join a regional transmission organization. (Denver Post)
ALSO: A Dallas area power company is cutting more than 300 jobs in Houston after merging with a local energy company (Houston Chronicle)
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• Arizona regulators are expected to decide this week whether to set new rates for a Tucson utility’s rooftop solar customers who produce excess power. (Arizona Daily Star)
• Las Cruces city officials are set to discuss plans to build a local solar facility. (KFOX TV)
• If Oklahoma lawmakers approve a wind production tax, some Democrats want assurances it would be the last big tax change for the industry. (Public Radio Tulsa)
• Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas have developed a new way to extract more power from wind turbines. (Science Daily)
OIL AND GAS:
• An Oklahoma group pushing to put a statewide oil and gas production tax rate increase on the November ballot has abandoned its efforts. (The Oklahoman)
• More than 20 miles of shoreline at a Southeast Texas national wildlife refuge will be restored with $26 million from the Deepwater Horizon settlement. (Houston Chronicle)
• Officials with one oil and gas company operating in Colorado says the industry needs to do a better job educating the public about drilling. (The Denver Channel)
• Texas Governor Greg Abbott calls on the federal government to provide funding to widen a Southeast Texas ship channel that will aid liquefied natural gas exports. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times)
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RENEWABLE ENERGY: County officials in southern Colorado endorse the city of Pueblo’s plan to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2035. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• A recent Colorado study that asserts people who live near oil and gas sites have an increased risk of cancer “tortures logic and reason”, says the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette.
• A modest, new gross production tax on the wind industry is the best public policy for Oklahoma, says the editorial board of the Enid News & Eagle.
• Wind is a drought-proof cash crop and New Mexico needs to do everything it can to harvest it, says the editorial board of the Albuquerque Journal.
• The president of the New Mexico Audubon Council says a wind farm is being proposed in eastern New Mexico in the worst possible location – right in the middle of lesser prairie chicken habitat. (Santa Fe New Mexican)