Western Energy News

“Y’all are done”: $9.45 billion Texas utility deal approved

UTILITIES: Texas regulators yesterday unanimously approved the $9.45 billion sale of the state’s largest utility. (Dallas News)

GRID: Texas grid officials say recent investments made in smart meter technology helped the state withstand the effects of Hurricane Harvey better than other natural disasters. (Houston Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• The New Mexico attorney general sues a Utah solar company, alleging it dupes customers about cost savings and locks them into 20-year contracts. (Reuters)
• Denver Housing Authority officials share their insights into how they were able to navigate the labyrinth of rules and regulations to provide solar power to low-income residents. (Solar Magazine)
• Work has been completed on a 10 MW solar plant in northern Oklahoma (Renewables Now)

BIOFUELS:
• Texas Sen. Ted Cruz hosts a delegation of oil refinery workers lobbying Congress to rewrite federal ethanol rules. (Reuters)
Meanwhile, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall has introduced legislation that aims to boost so-called second-generation biofuels, those made from feedstock such as waste products and woody crops. (The Hill)

PIPELINES: At an oil and gas trade expo in Houston, the head of the Dallas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline laments the intensity of protestors since the “Keep it in the Ground” movement began. (Houston Chronicle)

OIL AND GAS:
• Optimism over the Permian Basin in Texas, which one executive describes as the “golden goose,” has the oil industry upbeat despite growing challenges. (Texas Tribune) 
• Economists tell energy industry executives gathered in Houston this week that President Trump’s “boneheaded” tariffs on steel and aluminum will cost the oil and gas industry jobs. (Houston Chronicle)
• Protesters block construction of a controversial oil and gas development near a Colorado school. (Greeley Tribune)
• Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy sells $553 million worth of assets in North Texas’s Barnett Shale to an undisclosed buyer. (Platts)

WIND: An Oklahoma lawmaker who accused the wind industry of planting a tracking device on his truck files federal lawsuit against a Texas political consultant questioned in the case. (The Oklahoman)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada officials activate a new charging station for electric vehicles near Hawthorne. (North Nevada Business Weekly)

COMMENTARY: Wind turbines keep getting bigger, and that’s a good thing, writes David Roberts. (Vox)

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