OIL & GAS: The Biden administration ends its pause on oil and gas leasing sales and considers selling nearly 700,000 acres in Western states — including 568,000 acres in Wyoming — early next year, drawing criticism from environmentalists. (Reuters, Casper Star-Tribune)

New Mexico regulators fine a Texas pipeline company $1.3 million and require it to shut down a sulfur recovery plant that illegally emitted more than 3.1 million pounds of pollutants in 2017 and 2018. (news release)
Oregon regulators fine a Portland oil storage company $25,000 for conducting construction work without a permit while its application to expand the terminal was pending. (Associated Press)
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, introduces legislation to end oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increase drilling royalties elsewhere. (Reuters)

A powerful storm in Southern California destroys 33 power poles and leaves hundreds of residents without electricity for days. (Desert Sun)
California grid operators say the state’s growing fleet of storage equipment is working as envisioned by shifting energy produced during low-priced hours to high-priced hours of the day. (Utility Dive) 

Silfab Solar opens its second solar panel assembly plant in Washington state. (Solar Power World)  
Sandia National Laboratory researchers find that hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires and hailstorms can damage solar installations and reduce electricity output. (news release)

CLEAN ENERGY: While touting the Congressional infrastructure bill, U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado says renewable energy installations can help stabilize the state’s rural economies. (Journal-Advocate)

San Diego County’s supervisors vote to purchase power from San Diego Community Power instead of San Diego Gas & Electric, adding about 180,000 customers to the community choice aggregator. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
California lawmakers pass a bill to fund emergency operations centers during wildfire-prevention power shutoffs. (news release)  

Northern California’s drought-fueled Dixie Fire grows beyond 800,000 acres and has already burned nearly 700 homes, while the still-raging Caldor Fire forces evacuations in western Nevada. (KPIX)
Federal officials close all of California’s drought-addled national forests due to wildfire danger. (KPBS)  
The Port of San Diego partners with the U.S. Department of Transportation to study carbon sequestration by eelgrass, which has 30 to 50 times the storage capacity of forests. (Times of San Diego)

A former Congress member urges Washington state lawmakers to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market to help decarbonize the state’s electricity grid. (Spokesman-Review)
Oregon advocates say the Portland Clean Energy Fund’s allocations should be tied to specific outcomes that advance climate equity — not to build rooftop yoga studios. (Oregonian)  

Jonathan hails from southwestern Colorado and has been writing about the land, cultures, and communities of the Western United States for more than two decades. He compiles the Western Energy News digest. He is the author of three books, a contributing editor at High Country News, and the editor of the Land Desk, an e-newsletter that provides coverage and context on issues critical to the West.