The Biden administration tosses out a Trump-era plan to expand oil and gas development and leasing in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, but will still allow drilling on about half of the 23 million-acre area. (Reuters)
Wyoming regulators cancel a planned meeting with a watchdog group after a news story cited the group’s criticism of a pending oil and gas company’s waste discharge permit. (WyoFile)

Environmental groups blast the Biden administration’s defense of a Trump-era public lands coal leasing plan that a court found did not adequately consider impacts of coal mining in the Powder River Basin. (The Hill)
New Mexico’s supreme court rejects a challenge to a state Energy Transition Act provision allowing utilities to fund coal power plant abandonment with low-interest bonds. (NM Political Report) 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget would spend $22.5 billion on fighting climate change and includes funds for electric vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure, high-speed rail, renewable energy and storage, and assisting displaced oil industry workers. (Associated Press)
Hawaii lawmakers plan to propose several measures to fight climate change this legislative session, including a green fee on tourists to fund environmental projects. (Honolulu Civil Beat) 

PacifiCorp files for a preliminary permit to build a 1,460 GWh/year pumped hydropower storage project in eastern Oregon. (OPB)
Oregon researchers improve the efficiency of compressed air energy storage technology by chemically harnessing heat given off during the process to generate additional power. (news release)

Two state-approved utility-scale solar projects planned for Oahu, Hawaii, may be delayed or canceled, one due to cultural site impacts and the other because of supply chain constraints. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)  
A Colorado renewable energy company and a nonprofit raise $43,900 to pay for low-income families’ community solar program subscriptions. (Denver Post)

Burning Man organizers oppose a developer’s plan to build a 48 MW geothermal project near Gerlach, Nevada, which is near the site of the 80,000-person annual festival. (Reno Gazette Journal)
A northern California community choice aggregation utility proposes developing several small, low-water-usage geothermal power plants across three counties. (North Bay Business Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: Public Service Company of New Mexico plans to launch its transportation electrification plan this spring that would include incentives for building electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (Utility Dive)

HYDROPOWER: Federal lawmakers from Montana introduce a bill authorizing the U.S. Interior Department to install a hydroelectric power plant on an existing dam. (Billings Gazette) 

NUCLEAR: Climate advocates adopt 1970s-era No Nuke activists’ methods to rally for the continued operation of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Grist)  

UTILITIES: Southern California Gas launches a pilot program using hydrogen-powered drones to monitor its distribution network. (Smart Energy International)

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Jonathan P. Thompson

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.