NOTE TO READERS: The Energy News Network will be taking a two-week break for the holidays. Western Energy News will return on Monday, January 4. Thank you for your support this year!

PUBLIC LANDS: President-elect Joe Biden nominates New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to lead the Interior Department, a historic decision that could see Haaland become the first Native American to lead a cabinet-level agency. (New York Times)

COAL:
• Colorado regulators reverse a preliminary decision made last month to close three coal-fired power plants by the end of 2028. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• The defunct Navajo Generating Station’s 775-foot concrete stacks are set for demolition today. (Associated Press)
• An independent regulatory council rejects an environmental group’s challenge to a Wyoming coal mining permit. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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BIOFUELS: California regulators approve a three-year plan by Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric to sell renewable natural gas from capturing methane from manure lagoons at landfills, dairy farms, and elsewhere. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• California regulators approve a San Diego Gas & Electric proposal that will establish new commercial electric vehicle charging rates. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• The police department in Everett, Washington unveils its new Chevy Bolt patrol car. (MyEverettNews)

POLLUTION: A field study reveals that potentially illegal or uncontrolled oil and gas emissions persist in New Mexico’s Permian Basin. (Albuquerque Journal)

UTILITIES:
San Diego Gas & Electric is the sole bidder on the right to provide gas and electric services within city limits, but the newly-elected mayor is keeping their options open. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Boulder, Colorado nonprofit and government providers are cautiously optimistic about the city’s extended and repurposed Utility Occupation Tax that will now pay for emissions-reduction projects and programs. (Boulder Beat)
Arizona regulators ruled earlier this week that utilities cannot shut off customers’ power without offering a payment plan. (Arizona Public Media)

WIND: A combined 500 MW capacity Montana wind and solar farm has a new owner and is scheduled to be operating in two years. (Ravalli Republic)

FINANCE: A Wyoming town approves a $5 million bond that will enable a local energy company that claims it has created a magnetic energy generator — a proposition that physicists are deeply skeptical of — to build a facility to extract rare earth elements from coal. (Wyoming News Exchange, Wall Street Journal archive)

EFFICIENCY: A new Salt Lake City, Utah office tower is expected to be the state’s first building focused on human health and wellness, designed to achieve high energy efficiency and wired technology standards. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY:
A columnist says oil and gas companies should boycott next month’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lease auction. (Houston Chronicle)
Two California environmentalists say reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change will require thinking beyond energy infrastructure. (San Francisco Chronicle)
An Alaska official says reducing energy costs is a critical component of the state’s economic recovery and a key to providing opportunities for future generations. (Anchorage Daily News)
A California columnist says that while the state’s Air Resources Board has been successful in cleaning up air pollution, there is still work to do regarding emissions tampering. (Streetsblog California)

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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.).