Western Energy News

Xcel Energy pledges to be carbon-free by 2050

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UTILITIES: At an event in Denver, Xcel Energy announces a bold plan to get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050, an unprecedented move for the electric power industry. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: Xcel’s announcement could revive the debate over carbon capture, particularly as it relates to the future of a Pueblo, Colorado coal plant. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR: New Mexico regulators approve a plan by the state’s largest utility to build five new solar plants to help meet its goal of getting 20 percent of its retail sales from clean energy. (Albuquerque Journal)

• A San Diego utility has asked California regulators to drop a high usage charge it says unfairly penalizes customers during heat waves. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Oregon regulators are suing a county over its attempt to stop a local utility from charging customers who opt out of a smart meter program. (KLCC)

COAL: A bankrupt Colorado coal company hasn’t provided enough information in its restructuring plan to be allowed to proceed, according to a court filing from the federal government. (Casper Star Tribune)

• New Mexico regulators approve an oil and gas company’s request to double its well density in the state’s northwest corner after a last-ditch attempt by the state land commissioner fails to stop the move. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• A northern Colorado county approves an oil and gas company’s plans to horizontally drill under a protected open space and historic farm. (Loveland Reporter Herald)

BIOMASS: Arizona’s largest utility may pull the plug on plans to develop a biomass project after only one company expressed interest. (White Mountain Independent)

• One year after President Trump decided to shrink two national monuments in Utah, the fight endures over whether the land should remain off-limits to mining and energy development. (Deseret News)
• Meanwhile, a new study finds that multiple rare bee species could be harmed by disturbances to the former monument land. (The Hill)
• The Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda is rolling back protections for public lands throughout the West at a record-setting rate, according to a new study. (The Guardian)

TECHNOLOGY: A California company has developed an “energy kite,” now being tested in Hawaii, in a novel way to produce wind energy. (NBC News)

• California regulators should step in and stop a natural gas provider from lobbying against climate progress while passing those costs on to customers, says an attorney for an environmental group. (CALMatters)
• The recent decision by federal land managers in Nevada to deny a proposed wind farm reflects a troubling pattern of environmentalists teaming with “NIMBY” locals to kill clean energy projects, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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