COAL: A cooling-tower collapse takes one of two units at a major New Mexico coal plant offline indefinitely, diminishing the plant’s generating capacity as another heat wave heads for the region and further complicating a plan to equip the plant with carbon capture. (NM Political Report)

With hydropower generation down 37% from last year due to drought, California grid operators look to import extra power this summer to weather extreme high temperatures. (Energy Information Administration, KCRA)
The utility for Arizona’s third largest city asks customers to avoid using power during peak demand times to reduce costs and grid strain. (Arizona Republic)
Montana’s largest utility warns ratepayers are likely to see bigger bills due to drought-depleted hydropower capacity and high temperatures. (Missoula Current)

Xcel Energy seeks a $343 million rate increase for equipment upgrades just days after asking for a temporary hike to cover expenses related to February’s winter storm. (Denver Post)
Electricity bills could double for customers in portions of rural Alaska as a state price-equalization program loses its funding. (KYUK)
Pacific Gas & Electric extends its suspension of utility cutoffs for overdue bills until the end of September. (news release)

• As Oregon’s death toll from the June heatwave climbs to 107, Gov. Kate Brown orders regulators to create rules to protect workers from the heat. (KOIN)
Latino residents are twice as likely to live in areas threatened by wildfire compared to the general U.S. population, according to a new analysis. (Politico)
Yet another wave of triple-digit temperatures is headed for Central California, likely straining the power grid once again. (KFSN)

Democratic leaders in New Mexico oppose an interim storage facility for spent nuclear reactor fuel rods proposed for the southeastern part of the state. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Residents of a small Wyoming town are eager to host an experimental advanced nuclear reactor proposed for the state. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A Colorado-based company plans to reopen a uranium mining complex in the western part of the state based on its predictions of rising demand for the mineral. (

LITHIUM: A lithium mining project proposed for Nevada receives an air quality permit from state regulators, clearing a major hurdle. (Pahrump Valley Times)

OIL & GAS: An oil and gas exploration project in Alaska spearheaded by a company with a reputation for environmental violations highlights the complicated dynamics between Alaska Native corporations and sovereign tribal governments. (High Country News)

TRANSITION: As it prepares to shut down another Arizona coal power plant, Salt River Project creates a transition team to help coal-dependent communities cope economically. (news release)

WIND: A bill creating a strategic plan to encourage offshore wind development passes a key committee vote in the California Senate. (KPIX)

TRANSPORTATION: After decades of resisting public rail transit, Orange County finally gets a streetcar. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An auto insurance survey finds Salt Lake City to be the best place to own an electric vehicle based on availability of incentives, access to charging systems, and power prices. (KJZZ)

COMMENTARY: A Wyoming columnist says the U.S. Supreme Court was in the right when it  “mercifully euthanized” the state’s challenge to Washington state’s denial of a proposed coal export terminal permit. (WyoFile)

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.