OIL & GAS: The U.S. Interior Department says 26 states intend to apply for federal funds to plug about 130,000 abandoned oil and gas wells, more than twice the number found by previous estimates. (The Hill)

ALSO:
Federal health officials investigate how a U.S. Navy fuel facility’s water contamination may have harmed Hawaii residents. (Associated Press)
Alaska regulators fine oil and gas company Hilcorp Energy $64,000 for not complying with drilling permit requirements and failing to test blowout prevention equipment. (Alaska Journal)
The federal Bureau of Land Management formally proposes banning new oil and gas drilling on 351,000 acres of public land surrounding New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park, beginning the public input and tribal consultation process. (news release)
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado says he is “deeply concerned” about federal approval of a proposed Utah rail line that would send crude oil through Colorado. (Colorado Times-Recorder) 

GRID:
Two studies find climate change-exacerbated extreme heat, drought and other weather events could affect the West’s power grids by depleting hydropower generation, decreasing system reliability and increasing electricity prices. (news release)
Arizona utility crews travel to northern California to help restore power to 20,000 residents who have gone without electricity since a Christmas snow storm toppled utility equipment. (12News)

UTILITIES:
Pacific Gas & Electric says the tree that came into contact with its powerline and sparked last year’s massive Dixie Fire was “just one of more than 8 million within strike distance” of the utility’s equipment. (Redding Record Searchlight)
Pacific Gas & Electric plans to build 20 standalone “remote grids” in fire-prone areas this year, allowing it to reduce fire danger by removing distribution lines. (RTO Insider, subscription)

HYDROPOWER: Montana environmental groups urge federal regulators to investigate a hydroelectric dam’s malfunction that dewatered the Madison River last year, harming a downstream fishery. (Montana Free Press)   

TRANSPORTATION:
Oregon expands its clean vehicle program to improve access for lower-income residents and offers up to $7,500 in rebates against the purchase of a new electric vehicle. (KTVZ)  
The petroleum industry lobbies against a proposed Wyoming bill raising the fuel tax by 15 cents to fund road repairs. (Douglas Budget)

COAL: A bill to block a proposed northern California rail line that would carry Montana, Wyoming and Utah coal for overseas export advances in the state senate. (Times Standard)  

WIND: Northern California commercial fishers and environmentalists urge federal officials to complete a full environmental impact statement on proposed offshore wind development before issuing leases. (Santa Maria Times)

LITHIUM:
A Canada mining company begins drilling in western Nevada to gauge lithium extraction potential. (Bonanza & Goldfield News)
A Nevada company develops a non-flammable, graphene-based lithium-ion battery for use in electric vehicles and other applications. (news release) 

SOLAR: Failed inverters and supply chain constraints interrupt a Colorado community solar garden’s operations for months. (Colorado Springs Indy)

CLIMATE: Washington state lawmakers consider proposals to require electrification in all new construction, to allow cities to impose more stringent rules on residential construction and to expand energy performance standards in buildings. (Inlander)

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at editor@energynews.us.

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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.