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The world's largest asset manager, BlackRock Capital Investment, told the companies in its portfolio—including Avista, Portland General Electric and NorthWestern Energy—that they need to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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A new pilot program from Seattle City Light is testing contract structures to spur building owners to invest in energy efficiency upgrades that would otherwise benefit tenants. That split incentive dynamic has long impeded greater EE investment in commercial properties.

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Construction began Jan. 10 on a new hatchery east of Milton-Freewater, Ore., that's expected to double the number of spring Chinook smolts released into the South Fork Walla Walla and Touchet rivers to 500,000 releases annually.

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Two disputes over QF contract terms are moving forward in Montana's highest court. Both stem from Montana PSC rulings that were overturned in state district court and then appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

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Douglas County PUD Commissioner Ron Skagen has been appointed to a three-year term on the American Public Power Association's Policy Makers Council. The council helps promote federal legislation important to public power utilities and oppose harmful legislation. Council members are either ap…

The Wild Fish Conservancy filed notice on Jan. 9 it intends to sue the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service for authorizing what it calls an overharvest of Chinook salmon in the southeast Alaska troll fishery. The group claims the NMFS-approved harvest threat…

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The Northwest Power and Conservation Council on Jan. 14 elected Richard Devlin, of Oregon, to be the Council's new chair in 2020, replacing Jennifer Anders, who chaired the Council through 2019. Devlin has served as vice chair for the past year, a post that will now be filled by Montana's Bo…

A Wenatchee-area fruit processing company has agreed to reduce the copper and zinc it discharges into the Wenatchee River and pay $150,000 for projects that improve local water quality under a settlement agreement with Columbia Riverkeeper.

President Donald Trump signed two bills related to the Columbia River into law on Dec. 20. The Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act (S. 216) compensates the Spokane Tribe for lands lost with the construction of Grand Coulee Dam (CU No. 1933 [9]). The…

Washington's Department of Ecology on Dec. 30 adopted revisions to its water quality standards that will allow operators of the eight lower dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers and five mid-Columbia dams to increase spill that would create up to 125 percent total dissolved gas saturation du…

Western Area Power Administration has finished transitioning to new reliability coordinators for its balancing authorities and transmission operators in the Western Interconnection, following more than a year of preparation and testing, the agency said Dec. 30.

NorthWestern Energy has filed another protest to the Montana PSC's dual role as investigator and judge. In a Dec. 27 filing, the utility asked the commission to reconsider its authority in a docket concerning NWE's QF-1 tariff update [D2019.09.059]. The filing is the latest installment in a …

Xcel Energy and three other Colorado utilities plan in 2021 to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market operated by the California ISO, saying it will help them meet clean-energy goals and provide the most benefit to customers compared with alternatives.

Under a bill passed Dec. 16 by the U.S. House of Representatives, more than two dozen tribal fishing sites along the lower Columbia River—many of which have become permanent tribal communities—would be evaluated for safety and sanitation conditions, and funds made available to improve those …

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Dec. 20 named Laura Watson director of the state's Department of Ecology. She replaces Maia Bellon, who was director for seven years and a state employee for 25 years. Bellon announced her departure earlier this month, and set it for the end of the year. Watson …

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Dec. 6 unanimously adopted a conservation plan for four species of lamprey, including Pacific lamprey, whose numbers have been declining in the Columbia Basin since the mid-1990s.

At the request of Idaho Power, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on Dec. 11 dismissed Idaho Power Company v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency et al. [18-255], two days after the utility filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit. The action came after the EPA approved the Sta…

PacifiCorp's October announcement that it wants to retire the Jim Bridger 1 coal plant in 2023, five years earlier than previously planned, pushed the likelihood of a major blackout in the Northwest in 2026 from 17 percent to 26 percent, or more than a one-in-four chance, according to the No…

Idaho Power plans to drop its lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency by Dec. 9 now that the federal agency has approved the State of Idaho's 2012 request to increase maximum water temperature criteria in a stretch of the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam for two weeks each fall.

Maia Bellon, director of the Washington Department of Ecology for seven years and a state employee for 25 years, is stepping down from the post at the end of this year. Bellon said in a statement she plans to take some time off and then use her law degree to begin a private practice focusing…

Eight months after returning from a monthlong international voyage to catch and analyze salmon in the North Pacific Ocean's high seas, the involved scientists recently received results from genetic tests to show where the roughly 400 salmon they caught originated.

Chelan County PUD expects to pay slightly more in the next couple years for each megawatt-hour saved, compared to this year or 2018. Even so, energy efficiency remains the lowest-cost resource for the PUD, Andrew Grassell, who oversees Chelan's conservation program, said at the utility's boa…

After removing the Condit Dam in 2012, PacifiCorp is giving the Yakama Nation a right of first offer for 289 acres on the White Salmon River in Washington. In a news release, PacifiCorp says it has no immediate plans to sell the property—which begins at the site of the former dam and include…

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has unveiled a new educational tool on its website designed to keep people informed about its Fish and Wildlife Program, and progress on mitigating for fish losses from the Federal Columbia River Power System.

The Washington Department of Commerce and the Washington UTC released the names of members of a 20-person work group tasked with helping state officials better understand how implementing Washington's Clean Energy Transformation Act could affect wholesale electricity markets. The state agenc…

Five conservation groups want the U.S. District Court for Montana to block expansion of the Rosebud Mine, which supplies the Colstrip Generating Station. In their Nov. 18 lawsuit, the groups asked the court to determine that the U.S. Department of the Interior violated the National Environme…

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council tentatively agreed on Nov. 12 to collaborate with state, federal and tribal governments on how to assess its Fish and Wildlife Program performance before adopting the first part of an addendum to the program.

The California ISO is moving forward with enacting market-power mitigation on a systemwide basis, the result of an extensive deliberative process that has produced opposing viewpoints even as the real work on the initiative begins.

Two new faces joined the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s leadership team in November: Kyle Burchard is now director of business administration, and Becca Yates is director of stakeholder engagement, corporate strategy and communications.

The Southern Resident Orca Task Force submitted its final report to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Nov. 8, completing its two-year mission to offer both short-term and long-term actions to help recover the endangered killer whales.

Federal lawyers filed their own request for summary judgment in a U.S. District Court case over the Willamette Valley Project, claiming the issue of reinitiating consultation is moot and operations are not jeopardizing continuing existence of upper Willamette River steelhead or Chinook.