OIL & GAS: The Biden administration indefinitely pauses federal oil and gas lease sales to give it time to determine how to weigh the leases’ climate impacts after a federal judge blocked an order restoring  the “social cost of carbon” metric. (Reuters)

Researchers find Permian Basin oil and gas wastewater contains 266 different organic compounds including toxic pesticides, heavy metals and carcinogens. (UPI)   
Military documents show U.S. Navy officials have known since 2016 its Red Hill fuel storage facility and associated pipelines — now blamed for contaminating Hawaii drinking water — were in need of repair. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
Environmental advocates oppose a Canadian company’s bid to expand a Northwest natural gas pipeline’s capacity, saying it would lock the region into “continued reliance on fracked gas.” (OPB)
California lawmakers propose a bill requiring state public employee pension funds to withdraw from fossil fuel investments. (Press Democrat)

A utility-funded report says the Southwestern grid will need an unprecedented level of new generating capacity — and retention of current natural gas and nuclear resources — to ensure reliability in the face of growing power demand. (Utility Dive)
California utility officials tell a U.S. House committee upgrading and burying transmission lines and developing more clean energy and microgrids would make the grid more resilient. (Spectrum News1)
A mylar balloon striking Palo Alto, California, electricity lines leaves 4,500 households without power. (CBS SF) 

Southern California Edison plans to spend $1.7 billion this year on inspections, tree clearing and installing 1,100 miles of covered overhead lines to reduce the risk of its equipment sparking wildfires. (Bloomberg)
Nevada’s Supreme Court rules utilities bear the burden of justifying unaccounted-for expenditures that are passed on to customers. (Nevada Independent)
A consulting firm says NorthWestern Energy’s proposed natural gas power plant pipeline’s planned route under Montana’s Yellowstone River is unsafe. (Billings Gazette)

GEOTHERMAL: A Colorado energy company and utility launch a pilot program aimed at harnessing heat from oil wells to power oil and gas facilities. (Greeley Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: Hawaii regulators allocate $4.2 million for installing 20 electric bus charging stations. (Hawaii Public Radio)

LITHIUM: Imperial County, California, officials seek state funding and support to establish a local university and to expedite development of an estimated 15 million metric tons of lithium in the area. (Desert Sun)

SOLAR: Statistics show rooftop solar installations in a southern California county dropped considerably after the local utility slashed net metering payments like regulators propose for the entire state. (Desert Sun)

The company hoping to take over San Juan Generating Station supports Public Service Company of New Mexico’s plan to continue running the coal plant after its scheduled June retirement date. (Farmington Daily Times)
Wyoming lawmakers advance a “bankruptcy proof” mine reclamation bonding reform bill supported by both industry and conservationists. (Casper Star-Tribune)

NUCLEAR: Colorado lawmakers reject a bill that would have required economic development officials to study the feasibility of developing small modular reactors as a carbon-free energy source. (The Center Square)

COMMENTARY: The chair of the Hispano Roundtable of New Mexico urges regulators to approve the proposed Avangrid-Public Service Company merger to help relieve pending power generation shortfalls. (Albuquerque Journal)  

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.