UTILITIES: Green Mountain Energy, a provider of 100% renewable energy, is asking regulators to allow it to compete with two of Arizona’s largest utilities, even though the state has no operating competitive market. (Arizona Republic)

ALSO: Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid seek to keep information about an Avangrid subsidiary and its parent company — which face accusations of uneven service and a criminal investigation, respectively — out of next week’s hearings on the companies’ proposed merger. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

COAL: Wyoming stakeholders say state officials are unprepared to compete for billions of federal stimulus dollars aimed at helping coal-reliant communities survive the industry’s downturn. (WyoFile)

OIL & GAS:
California regulators cite technical reasons for rejecting 42 hydraulic fracturing applications just weeks after denying another 21 fracking permits. (Bakersfield Californian)
Indigenous and environmental groups call on the Biden administration to permanently ban oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Alaska Native News)
Oil and gas development in the Permian Basin has led to an increase in ozone-forming pollution in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
The U.S. Senate infrastructure bill could change the Department of Energy’s loan program and financially boost a struggling LNG export terminal proposed for Alaska’s coast. (S&P Global)
The Biden administration issues a final rule allowing oil companies to disturb polar bears and Pacific walruses during exploration and drilling in the Beaufort Sea and Western Arctic. (news release)  

WIND: Wyoming added 1.1 GW of wind power generating capacity last year, ranking it sixth in the nation for added renewable capacity. (Sheridan Press)

GRID:
Extreme heat, drought-depleted hydropower and transmission lines shut down by wildfires have prompted California’s grid operators to issue three times the average annual number of conservation alerts so far this summer. (KTXL)
• Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory work to improve electricity measurement methods to make the grid more resilient. (news release)

CLIMATE:
The Dixie Fire has so far burned 280,000 acres in northern California and destroys much of a small town, while the newly ignited River Fire spurs evacuations and threatens thousands of structures. (Los Angeles Times)
Last month was Salt Lake City’s hottest July on record. (Salt Lake Tribune) 

HYDROPOWER: Amid major drought, one of California’s largest hydropower- producing reservoirs is just two feet above the minimum level needed to generate electricity. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ELECTRIFICATION: Contra Costa County, California, considers prohibiting natural gas in all new construction. (San Francisco Business Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Utah county will install seven electric vehicle chargers at a government facility for public use. (Gephardt Daily)

COMMENTARY:
A writer for an energy think tank says small-scale distributed generation, large-scale transmission expansion and better integration are all necessary to protect the grid from wildfires and climate change. (GreenBiz)
An Oregon state lawmaker says fossil fuel corporations should pay for climate change-caused damages. (Oregonian)