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Three small Northwest utilities were among more than a dozen hit by recent cyberattacks targeting small electric utilities. While none of the attacks apparently succeeded, they highlight two of the weakest links in the industry's cybersecurity defenses: small, resource-strapped electric util…

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A federal trade court on Dec. 5 issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration's withdrawal of a tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar-photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, a solar industry group issued a report estimating tariffs have resulted in 10.5 GW of "lost solar development." House panel moves pumped-storage bill with amended language affecting permitting of the proposed Banks Lake project.

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A group of electric utilities on Nov. 25 filed suit challenging the Trump administration's rule blocking California from setting its own tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle sales mandates. Meanwhile, Western utility groups urged the U.S. Forest Service to adopt regulations to streamline vegetation management in rights of way crossing federal lands. U.N. issues "bleak" GHG emissions report and Moniz calls for broad climate solutions.

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BPA ended fiscal year 2019 barely missing its financial targets for total revenues and expenses, and affirmed that a 1.5 percent, $30 million Financial Reserves Policy surcharge would be applied to power rates during FY 2020.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 19 reported out the nominations of Dan Brouillette to head the Department of Energy and James Danly to fill a FERC vacancy. Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Committee reported out bills authorizing DOE to develop interim nuclear waste storage facilities and reinstating regulations limiting methane emissions from gas pipelines. House Ways and Means Committee floats bill extending renewables, efficiency tax preferences.

President Donald Trump on Nov. 7 nominated Dan Brouillette, the Department of Energy's No. 2 executive, to succeed outgoing DOE Secretary Rick Perry. Meanwhile, states and environmental organizations sued DOE to challenge its rule dropping exemptions of specialty incandescent lamps from efficiency standards. Senate Democrats raise concerns about politicization of FERC at confirmation hearing for nominee James Danly.

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California utilities were restoring power to hundreds of thousands of customer accounts Oct. 31, after another week of high winds, power outages and wildfires sent residents scrambling and led to a step-up in response efforts from state officials.

NorthWestern Energy reported net income of $21.7 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2019. That compares to $28.2 million, or 56 cents per diluted share, during the same period in 2018. The company credited the $6.5 million drop to higher operating costs, mild we…

A split between automakers on regulating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions broke into the open Oct. 31 when a coalition of manufacturers including Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler formally moved to intervene on the Trump administration's side in litigation against the administration's revocation of California's authority to set its own GHG standards and sales requirements for electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles. Meanwhile, Rep. Greg Walden, ranking Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he won't seek re-election in 2020. House passes bills to bar uranium mining claims near Grand Canyon, prohibit oil and gas leases around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

A federal appeals court on Oct. 25 rejected California’s challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s first step toward revising tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards. Meanwhile, the Justice Department on Oct. 23 sued California and top state officials, alleging that the state's agreement with Quebec on greenhouse gas emissions trading violates the U.S. Constitution. Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed a 10-year, $454 billion plan to pay Americans to buy electric vehicles and increase charging infrastructure.

President Donald Trump on Oct. 18 indicated via ­Twitter that he would nominate Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to succeed Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who on Oct. 17 said he will resign at an unspecified date later this year, bringing to an end a tenure shadowed in the last few weeks by his part in the Trump administration’s interactions with Ukraine officials. PHMSA falling behind on gas storage inspections, GAO reports.

A federal appeals court on Oct. 10 upheld a 2018 lower-court ruling ordering the Energy Department to publish four final energy-efficiency standards in the Federal Register. Meanwhile, three House committees subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry in connection with an impeachment inquiry, ordering him to turn over documents involving his interactions with Ukrainian ­officials.

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BPA moved a step closer to joining the Western EIM on Sept. 26, by signing an implementation agreement with the California ISO that will allow the agency to further consider participating in the market.

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The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 18 joined regulators in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada in signing a memorandum of understanding that addresses climate change through cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Seventeen states, including six in the West, filed suit on Sept. 25 to contest the Trump administration’s revision of rules for implementing the Endangered Species Act. Meanwhile, the conflict between California and the Trump administration escalated again as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler warned the state could face loss of highway funds and tighter industrial-facility permitting conditions unless it does more to comply with air-quality standards. GAO warns grid increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack.

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A divided FERC on Sept. 19 proposed sweeping revisions in rules for implementing PURPA, drawing cheers from utility groups, an attack from the Solar Energy Industries Association, and a caution flag from an industrial-customers organization.

The Trump administration on Sept. 12 finalized repeal of the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” rule, reverting to ­previous regulations in a move likely to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation ­barring expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing in Pacific and Atlantic waters and on the Arctic National ­Wildlife ­Refuge’s coastal plain. The administration released a final plan to open the plain to oil and gas leasing.

The EPA urged the Supreme Court on Aug. 27 to refuse hearing an appeal of a lower-court ­decision that EPA lacks authority to block production of ­hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants if manufacturers already make them as a substitute for ozone-depleting chemicals.

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The existing Western EIM is set to grow with the announcement that a couple of new members intend to join in April 2021, but a proposal for a similar regional balancing market by the Southwest Power Pool is also drawing interest.

The Department of Energy on Sept. 5 took action to loosen efficiency standards. Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Trump administration and California to negotiate a compromise on tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-economy standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 29 proposed dropping methane control standards for upstream oil and gas production facilities. Meanwhile, business and industrial trade associations, including energy production groups, urged President Donald Trump to delay planned tariffs.

The EPA issued a revised guidance on Aug. 20 that officials said would ease “planning burdens” on states developing plans to reduce regional haze caused by ­emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities.

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At an annual cost of roughly 1 percent of the region’s gross domestic product, deep decarbonization of all energy sectors in the Northwest is achievable but would require greater energy efficiencies, a greater reliance on the electric grid and decarbonization of energy supplies, a study comm…

Twenty-two states, six cities and the District of Columbia on Aug. 13 sued in federal appeals court to challenge the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the Clean Power Plan replacement that the Environmental Protection Agency finalized on June 19.

Idacorp’s earnings fell during the second quarter due to lower demand from customers. However, continued customer growth and lower operating expenses buoyed the company’s quarterly earnings reported on Aug. 1.

NW Natural Holdings reported second quarter net earnings of $2.1 million or 7 cents per share from ­continuing operations, compared to a loss of $339,000 or 1 cent per share in 2018.

Phase two of British Columbia’s BC Hydro review will include a look at opportunities for Hydro and its marketing subsidiary Powerex to expand in out-of-province electricity markets, as well as ways Hydro can further support B.C.’s long-term greenhouse gas-reduction targets.

The Senate Environment and Public Works committee on July 30 unanimously reported out a five-year, $287-billion transportation bill that would authorize $1 billion in competitive grants for charging and fueling infrastructure for electric, hydrogen and natural gas-fueled motor vehicles.