A federal judge deals a setback to Suncor and ExxonMobil, ruling that a local Colorado governments’ lawsuit accusing the companies of knowingly contributing to the climate crisis must remain in state court. (Colorado Daily)
Arizona researchers find the state is on track to cut fossil fuel emissions 75% within the next few decades, but getting to zero emissions will require wider electrification, carbon capture and hydrogen power. (Fronteras)

Public Service Company of New Mexico officials blame pending generation capacity shortages on state regulators’ rejection of a proposed natural gas peaker plant, though regulators say the utility failed to plan ahead for its coal plant’s shutdown. (Albuquerque Journal)
New Mexico regulators reject a state lawmakers’ proposal to have the board study the creation of public utilities, saying it should be the legislature’s responsibility. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

California’s senate passes a bill halting the proposed development of a rail line that would carry Powder River Basin coal to the state’s northern coast for export. (Del Norte Triplicate)    
A settlement banning coal terminal development in Oakland kills a plan to export Utah-mined coal through the California port to Japan. (Salt Lake Tribune)

The Biden administration defends its approval last year of oil and gas exploration plans in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. (E&E News, subscription)
New Mexico’s oil and gas industry opposes a state bill that aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
An Oregon study finds a major earthquake could damage a 600-tank fuel storage facility, resulting in a massive oil spill in the heart of Portland. (OPB) 

CLEAN ENERGY: The Nature Conservancy releases a map identifying optimal areas for solar and wind development with minimal impacts to wildlife and habitats. (news release)

STORAGE: A California company begins testing thermal energy storage technology using wind and solar electricity to power high-heat industrial processes. (CBS13)

HYDROGEN: New Mexico lawmakers introduce a scaled back bill to boost hydrogen development even as Democrats table a measure that would deem hydrogen a renewable energy. (Santa Fe New Mexican, NM Political Report)

ELECTRIFICATION: California’s attorney general files a brief supporting the city of Berkeley’s natural gas hookup ban that the state’s restaurant industry is challenging in federal court. (news release)

Idaho lawmakers advance a bill that would eliminate vehicle emissions testing in the state’s most populous counties. (Associated Press)
• Washington state Democratic lawmakers propose a $16 billion transportation bill to fund electric ferries, high speed rail, bike and pedestrian projects and infrastructure upgrades. (KIRO)  

NUCLEAR: An Alaska utility studies the feasibility of building a 15 MW micro modular reactor to power remote, fossil fuel-reliant communities. (Power Engineering) 

COMMENTARY: California energy researchers urge regulators to use virtual net metering to expand rooftop solar benefits to community solar and make distributed generation more equitable. (Utility Dive)

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.