OIL & GAS: Federal regulators advance a proposal to build an oil-hauling railway connecting a Utah oil patch with a national rail network as environmental groups argue in court that the project is a misuse of Mineral Leasing Act funds. (Salt Lake Tribune)

ALSO:
• Colorado regulators consider banning an oil and gas operator from the state and slapping it with a $3.7 million fine for allegedly violating more than 20 rules. (Colorado Sun)
• California regulators cite public health and safety in rejecting 14 hydraulic fracturing permit applications, after denying another 63 applications in the last month. (Bakersfield Californian)

UTILITIES:
Hearings on the proposed merger of Avangrid and Public Service Company of New Mexico heat up as consumer advocates raise concerns about its effects on service and rates, while environmentalists and union leaders tout potential economic benefits and Avangrid’s commitment to renewables. (Albuquerque Journal)
Pacific Gas & Electric records indicate inspectors found no problems with the equipment or a tree that may have sparked the still-burning Dixie Fire, which has grown to almost 500,000 acres. (Fresno Bee)
An insurance pool sues Southern California Edison Co. after last year’s Bobcat Fire — which was possibly sparked by the utility’s equipment — damaged buildings at a Monrovia school. (City News Service)

GRID: Above-average temperatures in the summer of 2020 caused per capita energy use in Arizona, California, Nevada and Alaska to jump as much as 10% from the year before. (PV Magazine)

SOLAR:
NextEra Energy announces plans to build a $600 million, 260 MW solar-plus-storage installation in Buckeye, Arizona. (Daily Independent)
Tesla promises to cover the roof of its Nevada battery manufacturing factory with solar panels by the end of next year, which would make it the largest rooftop solar installation in the nation. (Teslarati)

CLIMATE:
• During a visit to a Quinault Indian Nation village in Washington forced to relocate due to rising sea levels, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland promises hundreds of millions of dollars to help tribal nations fight the effects of climate change. (Seattle Times)
Colorado ski industry leaders say climate change is an “existential threat” after an international climate report forecasts a 60% decrease in snowpack over the next three decades. (CBS4)

HYDROGEN: California-led efforts to expedite mass adoption of hydrogen-fueled cars have been stymied by lack of infrastructure and chronic fuel shortages. (Los Angeles Times)

HYDROPOWER: Prolonged drought is diminishing a Colorado reservoir’s hydropower generating capacity, which could hurt Aspen’s efforts to maintain a 100% renewable portfolio. (Aspen Times)

COMMENTARY:
A Colorado economist argues a scheduled rising carbon fee will promote economic growth and help the U.S. reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Denver Post)
An Alaska writer urges the Biden administration to model federal methane emissions rules on Colorado and New Mexico regulations. (Writers on the Range)