ELECTRIFICATION: Documents show Xcel Energy had a prominent role in establishing a Colorado nonprofit dedicated to fighting local and state natural gas hookup bans and other electrification-oriented building codes. (CPR)
ALSO: Colorado lawmakers consider legislation that would require warranty companies to replace broken natural gas appliances with electric ones if the customer asks for the change. (Colorado Sun)
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• Utah lawmakers propose providing legal backing to Enchant Energy’s proposal to purchase the Intermountain coal power plant, install carbon capture equipment and operate the facility beyond its scheduled 2025 retirement date to power data centers. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Wyoming’s senate kills a bill that would have required owners of retiring coal plants to put them up for sale to parties interested in keeping them running by installing carbon capture equipment. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Montana lawmakers consider a bill that would allocate $30 million of the state’s coal tax revenues to fund affordable housing development. (Missoula Current)
• Colorado’s largest coal mine reported increased production in 2022, but analysts predict output will decline in the long term as coal power plants retire. (Big Pivots)
CLIMATE: Environmental advocates criticize California’s ambitious climate plan, saying it relies too heavily on unproven carbon capture technology and potentially dangerous pipelines to transport the gas. (Associated Press)
• New Mexico lawmakers advance a bill that would require investor-owned utilities to offer reduced rates to low-income customers. (NM Political Report)
• Some New Mexico residents push back against a utility’s proposal to build a natural gas storage facility adjacent to a city. (KRQE)
• Montana lawmakers consider legislation that would give NorthWestern Energy monopoly rights over transmission construction, but critics say it would stifle competitive bidding and lead to higher prices. (Longview News-Journal)
• Los Angeles County residents still without power days after a storm toppled utility lines and caused widespread outages criticize utilities for not restoring electricity sooner. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Utah rural electricity cooperative donates transformers to an initiative aimed at extending the grid to 14,000 Navajo Nation homes. (news release)
OIL & GAS:
• California environmental advocates oppose Exxon-Mobil’s plan to restart an oil pipeline that spilled 630,000 gallons of crude onto a Central Coast beach in 2015. (SFGATE)
• California lawmakers from both parties are skeptical of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to levy tax-like penalties on oil and gas company profits, citing a lack of evidence that refineries are responsible for high gasoline prices. (CalMatters)
• A Colorado county’s effort to establish 500-foot setbacks between oil and gas wells and homes and other structures sparks fierce debate. (Durango Herald)
• The Port of Los Angeles plans to conduct a full environmental review of a proposal to upgrade an oil terminal after advocates and citizens raised concerns about the project’s potential impacts. (Daily Breeze)
• Washington state labor unions back a proposed 500 MW solar facility on private land in the southern part of the state, but some residents worry it will industrialize agricultural land. (Yakima Herald-Republic)
• Developers break ground on a 137 MW solar plus 150 MW battery energy storage “peaker plant” in southern California. (electrek)
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TRANSITION: A Wyoming community college replaces its oil and gas workforce curriculum with a powerline technology program and courses aimed at training students to work in the nuclear industry. (Wyoming Public Radio)
GEOTHERMAL: A northern California clean power authority considers partnering with developers on three proposed geothermal projects with a combined 600 MW capacity. (North Bay Business Journal)