UTILITIES: Arizona regulators begin hearings on Arizona Public Service’s proposed rate hike, which it plans to use to compensate coal-impacted Indigenous communities and recover costs of upgrades to its Four Corners Power Plant. (ABC15)

ALSO: Avista becomes the first Washington state utility to file a Clean Energy Implementation Plan under a 2019 state law. (news release) 

OIL & GAS:
Records show California and federal officials had strong indications oil was leaking into the water more than 10 hours before the operator of an oil platform reported a massive spill off the Orange County Coast. (Los Angeles Times)
California members of Congress call for an oil and gas drilling ban off the state’s coast after the crude spill sullied beaches and harmed wildlife. (E&E News)
The Biden administration may upgrade polar bears’ threatened status, possibly affecting oil development on Alaska’s North Slope. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Navajo environmental organization yesterday appealed a federal court’s rejection of its attempt to void oil and gas drilling permits near Chaco Culture Historical Park in New Mexico. (E&E News, subscription)
California regulators tentatively allow the expansion of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, home of the largest methane spill in U.S. history, despite calls to shut down the facility. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
Wyoming agencies plan to help coal communities compete for federal stimulus funds aimed at diversifying their economies after critics complained of a lack of state-level involvement. (WyoFile)
The U.S. Department of Commerce directs $2.4 million to southeast Montana’s coal country to help with workforce and industrial diversification. (Montana Public Radio)

SOLAR:
California state lawmakers voice support for a proposal expanding community solar access to low-income and disadvantaged customers. (PV Magazine)
Construction is set to begin in December on a 102 MW solar plus 52 MW storage project in California’s Kern County. (Energy Storage News)

TRANSITION: A report finds the planned transition of a Utah coal power plant to natural gas and hydrogen could offsetting the state’s coal-sector job losses if it kickstarts a green-energy revolution in the area. (Salt Lake Tribune)

NUCLEAR: A provision to help existing nuclear reactors in House Democrats’ climate plan could hurt a proposal to build a small modular reactor in Idaho, proponents say. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE: A drought-fueled wildfire that has been burning for weeks in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks spurs new evacuations. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY:
A mining watchdog says lithium for electric vehicle batteries should be acquired through reuse, recycling and sometimes responsible mining — not the Thacker Pass mine proposed for Nevada. (Sierra Nevada Ally)
President Biden is sending “confounding mixed messages” on climate, as he makes public environmental commitments while his administration defends some Trump-era environmental rules, a Western conservationist writes. (Los Angeles Times)