CALIFORNIA: PG&E’s criminal probation judge says the utility may have been “criminally reckless” with its wildfire mitigation efforts before the Zogg Fire, and “a terror” to Californians since 2010’s deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: PG&E says its public safety power shutoffs will continue indefinitely, while a media investigation finds the utility has failed to incorporate actual wind data into its shutoff decisions. (NBC Bay Area, ABC10)

UTILITIES:
An executive from New Mexico’s largest utility says the company’s integrated resource plan filed last week puts it on a path to become carbon-free by 2040. (Albuquerque Journal)
Three local Montana governments agree to work together on developing a green tariff program with NorthWestern Energy. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
A new report indicates Utah still has more policy work to do to encourage electric vehicle use, but advocates are concerned about a proposed bill that would increase electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees. (Deseret News)
Oregon fails to reach its goal of 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, only managing 31,977 as of Feb. 1 this year. (Willamette Week)

OIL & GAS:
Prudhoe Bay oil field production increased last month, while overall North Slope production has been on a slow decline, according to a report from the state of Alaska. (The Frontiersman)
A U.S. District Court Judge rules a contentious National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska drilling project approved by the Trump administration can continue. (Anchorage Daily News)
University of Wyoming energy experts say President Biden’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases could adversely impact carbon capture and storage development. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Alaska regulators are considering a Hilcorp request to build two gas exploration wells on the North Slope. (KDLL) 

GRID: The head of a clean energy nonprofit says changes to California’s Integration Capacity Analysis concerning solar and storage will help the state achieve its climate goals. (PV Tech)

PUBLIC LANDS:
The Biden administration could increase fossil fuel development royalty rates on public lands “to account for corresponding climate costs.” (Wyoming Public Media)
President Biden’s executive order implementing a review of Bears Ears National Monument boundaries has Utah tribes hopeful the federal government will protect land considered sacred. (KSL NewsRadio) 

SOLAR:
• The developer of a planned Northern California solar-plus-storage project must acquire an “incidental take permit” and submit a habitat conservation plan after the Interior Department finds endangered species are likely to be harmed. (Livermore Independent)
• A Las Vegas-based solar and electric company begins construction on a 33 KW solar garden. (Nevada Business)

ADVOCACY:
Nevada conservationists are keeping an eye on a number of bills during the 2021 legislative session, including one focused on responsible energy planning and the state’s tax cap on mining. (KNPR)
A student-lead California nonprofit wants state legislators to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2030 rather than 2045. (New University)

TRANSPORTATION: A Washington county is purchasing 20 additional electric buses following 18 months of testing. (Electrive)

WIND: Wind energy initiatives in six Wyoming counties are expected to generate millions in revenue, but there are concerns about how it will be collected. (Rawlins Times) 

COMMENTARY:
A Wyoming editorial board says President Biden’s actions regarding the Keystone XL pipeline and federal fossil fuel leases will adversely impact the state’s economy and budget. (Cody Enterprise)
Two Utah state representatives say a proposed bill that would increase electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees will discourage buyers. (Deseret News)

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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.).