HYDROPOWER: Drought-caused low water levels have reduced the hydropower generation capacity of Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam by 25% and 41% respectively, straining Southwest energy supplies. (Power)  

ALSO: A federal judge orders Oregon dam operators to improve passage for threatened chinook salmon and steelhead trout, which likely will diminish hydropower generation. (OPB)

GRID: A second round of severe storms in Southern California this week knocks down 100 power poles, leaving 6,500 households without electricity. (Desert Sun)

UTILITIES:
Tucson, Arizona, residents and community advocates push Tucson Electric Power to bury a high-voltage transmission line it plans to build through historic neighborhoods. (Arizona Daily Star)
Utilities in drought-addled Southwestern Colorado take advantage of “rapidly evolving” wildfire mitigation technology to inspect and upgrade equipment. (Durango Herald)    

COAL:
Talen Energy, the only owner of Montana’s Colstrip power plant wanting to keep it running past its 2025 retirement date, tells investors it faces serious financial troubles. (Billings Gazette)
A Wyoming company proposes rehabilitating a defunct Northern California railroad in what some California lawmakers say seems to be a plan to ship Powder River Basin coal to the coast for overseas export. (Lost Coast Outpost)

SOLAR:
The federal Bureau of Land Management launches a rulemaking process to facilitate solar, wind and transmission development on public lands. (PV Magazine)
California lawmakers pass a bill to extend a property tax exemption to solar projects that change ownership, which advocates say is a “much needed fix.” (Renewable Energy World)
Clean Power Alliance, a Los Angeles-area community choice aggregator, agrees to purchase power from a to-be-developed 300 MW solar-plus-storage facility planned for California’s Riverside County. (news release)

LITHIUM: Tribal activists stage a “peaceful occupation” on public land in Nevada to protest the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine and its potential impacts to the environment and cultural resources. (National Public Radio) 

CLIMATE:
President Joe Biden says Western wildfires are reminders the “climate crisis” has arrived and the nation must take immediate action to stem it while declaring a federal disaster for California’s fire-affected areas. (Associated Press)
Researchers at Pacific Northwest Laboratory develop a method to convert captured carbon dioxide into methane, which could then be used to make synthetic natural gas. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
An Arizona education advocate says the state’s clean energy effort will result in a $2 billion windfall, contrary to “misinformation campaign” claims that it will cause utility bills to soar. (Arizona Daily Star)  
• A Colorado policy analyst says the costs to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells should be put back where they belong: “on the oil and gas companies who made the mess.” (Colorado Newsline)

Jonathan P. Thompson

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.