LITHIUM: General Motors invests in a lithium mine paired with a geothermal power facility near the Salton Sea in California, which is expected to be the nation’s largest lithium extraction project by 2024. (Reuters, Holtville Tribune)

GRID:
Recent heat waves in the Northwest and Southwest boost support for integration of the region’s balkanized grid, which could remake the region’s renewable energy landscape. (E&E News)
Demand response to relieve grid stress gains favor in the Northwest following the recent heat-related power outages. (Canary Media)
Pacific Gas & Electric plans to implement demand response to reduce the use of diesel generators during safety power shutoffs, but environmentalists say the program doesn’t go far enough to meet clean energy requirements. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIFICATION: A conservative political consulting firm leads a drive to block natural gas hookup bans in Spokane, Washington. (Spokesman-Review)

UTILITIES: Rocky Mountain Power launches a time-of-use rate pilot program for up to 500 Wyoming customers. (Casper Star Tribune)

COAL: A Montana utility avoided major power outages during the Northwest heat wave, even with its massive coal fired Colstrip power plant operating at only 41% capacity. (Billings Gazette)

OIL & GAS:
A Montana-based nonprofit that caps abandoned oil and gas wells to stop methane emissions is expanding its efforts to other states. (Washington Post)
The U.S. Department of Energy will study greenhouse gas emissions from the lifecycle of exports from a proposed LNG-export terminal in Alaska, presenting another hurdle for an already beleaguered project. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
Residents of a small California town near the border with Mexico oppose a proposed 623-acre solar installation because it could damage the rural feel of the area. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
A Colorado-based company plans to build two solar installations totaling 250 MW in the state’s rural southwestern corner. (Durango Herald)

GEOTHERMAL: A group of Navajo entrepreneurs looks to tap an old oil well in New Mexico for geothermal power. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

HYDROPOWER: Lake Mead’s water levels continue to fall, decreasing the Hoover Dam’s hydropower generating capacity declines. (KLAS)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Environmental justice advocates push back against California’s reinstatement of electric vehicle rebates, saying they do not help low-income residents switch to EVs. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TRANSPORTATION: A major freight-rail line successfully tests a battery powered locomotive in California, but widespread adoption is hindered by the high cost. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY:
A California editorial board urges regulators to reject PG&E’s request for an 18%rate hike and to make shareholders pay for the company’s shortfalls. (Mercury News)
• A University of Nevada professor says a major lithium mine proposed for the state is necessary to limit global warming. (Sierra Nevada Ally)
A Montana climate advocate says NorthWestern Energy’s plan to build a natural gas plant without carbon capture is flawed because it does not account for the true price of carbon. (Montana Standard)
Instead of penalizing utility customers with rooftop solar, a California environmental advocate argues, state regulators should do away with the antiquated monopoly model. (San Francisco Chronicle)