PUBLIC LANDS: Conflict over a plan to remove conservation protections from California public lands in favor of renewable energy development could be a harbinger of battles to come throughout the West for the Biden administration. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee are among a group of politicians opposing President Biden’s executive order that will review the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments. (Associated Press)
The Interior Department is reviewing more than 85,000 comments on a plan to allow new oil and gas drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park. (Farmington Daily Times)

CLIMATE: A New Mexico official says rejoining the Paris Agreement gives states “a firm foundation [to] mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.” (New Mexico Political Report)

HYDROPOWER: A new study finds that the elevation of a reservoir of the Upper Colorado River has dropped below the threshold needed to preserve the ability to produce hydropower at a northern Arizona dam. (Arizona Public Media)

COAL:
• Colorado coal production fell to its lowest level in decades last year, according to new state data. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Workers at Oregon’s first and last coal-fired power plant in interviews discuss their work, energy industry changes, and the personal impact of the plant’s closure. (High Country News)

OIL & GAS:
• Advocates file a legal challenge to 890 oil and gas leases in the West, arguing the Bureau of Land Management failed to account for climate impacts. (Reuters)
• A bill that would ban fracking in New Mexico was again introduced in the state’s legislature. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• The Interior Department approves a pipeline to deliver captured carbon dioxide to Wyoming oil fields. (Casper Star-Tribune)

PIPELINES: Keystone XL pipeline construction stopped in Montana with President Joe Biden’s permit revocation. (Associated Press)

FOSSIL FUELS: An Oregon lawmaker wants to eliminate fossil fuel tax breaks in favor of tax breaks for clean energy, clean transportation fuel, and energy efficiency. (Eugene Weekly)

MICROGRIDS: California regulators adopt new rules, rates, and tariffs aiming to encourage microgrid development and commercialization in the service areas of the state’s investor-owned utilities. (Energy Storage News)

UTILITIES:
California’s Public Advocates Office saved the state’s ratepayers more than $3 billion in avoided utility rate increases last year, according to a new report. (Lake County News)
• A new solar cooperative launches in Denver, aiming to secure 150 members by March 1. (Mile High CRE)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
New data shows Tesla electric vehicle registrations in California increased almost 63% during the fourth quarter compared with 2019. (Reuters)
A Northern California city deploys two new solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations for city fleet vehicles and free public use. (news release)

COMMENTARY: Two young conservative activists from Alaska say “we simply cannot afford inaction” on climate change. (Anchorage Daily News)

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at editor@energynews.us.

Lisa Ellwood

Lisa is a Lenape and Nanticoke Native American freelance journalist, editor and writer currently based in the U.K. She has more than two decades’ experience working in corporate communications and print and digital media. She compiles the Western Energy News daily email digest. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University; her specializations include data journalism and visualization. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Union of Journalists (U.K.).