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EGEB: Los Angeles and Navajo Nation move from coal to green energy together

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The Navajo Nation and the City of Los Angeles pair up to embrace green energy together.
  • Saudi Arabia cuts its crude price in a signal to Russia after OPEC talks fail.
  • 50 small steps you can take to help make your life greener.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

New energy life for Navajo Nation and LA

On November 13, Electrek reported that the 2,400MW Navajo Generating Station in northeastern Arizona (pictured) — the largest coal plant west of the Mississippi River — shut down. Los Angeles sold its shares of that generating station in 2016.

Nicole Horseherder of the group Tó Nizhóní Ání, an environmental protection nonprofit said in February:

As coal markets end and local power plants and mines close, we stand to benefit from the development of clean-energy projects and from an economic transition that prioritizes local community voices.

Looks like Tó Nizhóní Ání may get their wish.

In February, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti passed and finalized a motion to continue the energy partnership between the Navajo Nation and the City of Los Angeles, but with renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power will now start a 30-day feasibility study that will evaluate costs and benefits for electricity ratepayers. It’s likely to be cost-effective.

Cronkite News reports:

The continued partnership would bring wind and solar powered energy to Los Angeles while fostering economic development for the Navajo Nation, the motion states.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said:

This is a win-win for everyone.

Right now, throughout the world, we’re not taking care of our lands. So there is some traditional knowledge that we can incorporate in this type of transition.

We’re not talking about a handout. We’re talking about a hand up with all the partners in the Southwest who are wanting to purchase renewable energy.

Oil crash

Russia refused to cut oil output quotas by up to 1.5 million barrels per day at a failed meeting on Friday between OPEC and non-OPEC nations. So in retaliation, Saudi Arabia will produce 2 million barrels per day at $6 to $7 a barrel into an already oversupplied global market. As a result, oil prices have dropped by a third today — the biggest loss since the 1991 Gulf War.

Saudi Arabia wanted OPEC and Russia to make oil production cuts to support oil prices in light of the coronavirus outbreak. But Russia objected, so Saudi Arabia jacked up oil production and discounted its oil prices. Analysts say Saudi Arabia is punishing Russia for abandoning the two countries’ three-year supply pact. The oil market is already saturated.

Officially, Russia said it wants to wait and see what the coronavirus’ impact is on the oil market. Unofficially, Russia is angry about US sanctions of Russian energy companies and the US’ attempts to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.

Russia felt that cutting output would boost the US shale industry, which has stolen customers away from Russia. So Russia sees this as an opportunity to put a dent in the US shale industry. Russia says it can cope with low oil prices for six to 10 years.

As CNBC explains:

The industry is facing a three-sided attack: falling prices, a move of institutional investors to divest from fossil fuel companies, and crushing debt loads.

Small steps, big results

Making a difference to adopt green energy and help lower emissions tends to feel overwhelming for most people. Where does one even start? Well, it’s easier than you think.

The Guardian published a roundup of 50 simple steps everyone could take to make their lives greener. You can see all 50 suggestions by clicking on the link here, but here three suggestions to get you started:

Fix your electrical appliances: Yes, everyone is fully aware that “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” and it’s because appliance makers want to sell more stuff. You can prolong the life of your appliances by regular cleaning, and look for repair shops. If your appliance is beyond help, then “call the manufacturer or company of purchase to see if they will take back items or packaging for reuse or recycling.”

Create clean air: No, we’re not suggesting you buy an expensive air filtration system. We’re suggesting you buy house plants. For example, mother-in-law’s tongue gives off oxygen at night, so it’s great for a bedroom. And Boston ferns love humidity and can reduce the mold spores, making them ideal for bathrooms.

Be an eco-driver if you can’t yet switch to an EV: Maintain your vehicle regularly and check your tire pressure, as low air causes a rise in fuel consumption. Don’t overload your car. Open your window instead of run the AC below 40 mph, and for heaven’s sake, don’t idle.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.