LITHIUM: A federal judge rejects a bid by three tribal nations to halt preliminary excavation work at the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada. (Associated Press)

GRID:
An agreement between the Navajo Nation and a tribal utility will extend power lines to 23 households that have gone without electricity for decades. (Associated Press) 
Conservationists and Indigenous groups draw issue with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s proposal to build 12.5-mile high-voltage transmission line across a culturally significant New Mexico plateau. (Albuquerque Journal)
Nevada’s largest utility applies to build a 235-mile high-voltage transmission line across northern Nevada to facilitate new solar and wind development. (RTO Insider, subscription)

UTILITIES: A Montana judge allows an environmental group’s challenge to the state’s pre-approval of NorthWestern Energy’s proposed natural gas plant to proceed. (Montana Free Press)

COAL: Xcel Energy considers converting a northwestern Colorado coal plant into a molten salt energy storage facility to bolster renewable energy installations. (Colorado Public Radio)

OIL & GAS:
Weld County, Colorado, officials consider a reduced economic role for fossil fuels after falling oil prices lead to a $45 million revenue decrease in 2020 compared to 2019. (Denver Post)
New Mexico’s oil and gas regulators seek significant budget hikes to help them implement a clean fuel standard and achieve state climate change goals. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
New Mexico environmentalists and the oil and gas industry face off over proposed state ozone rules. (Albuquerque Journal)

SOLAR:
More than 300 organizations, including labor unions and business and environmental groups, sign a letter urging California regulators to preserve net metering policies. (news release)
Colorado Springs residents form a cooperative to buy rooftop solar panels in bulk and lower installation costs. (Gazette)

WIND: A northern Arizona county planning commission advances a proposed 50-turbine wind farm and solar array despite concerns about aesthetics and wildlife impacts. (Arizona Daily Sun)

HYDROPOWER: Utilities could pay up to 35% more for electricity purchased from the Western Area Power Administration thanks to drought-diminished hydropower output from Glen Canyon Dam. (Water Education Colorado) 

TRANSPORTATION: A national trucking firm plans to add 50 electric rigs to its Southern California fleet, making it one of the largest battery-electric fleets in North America. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
A former environmental journalist argues for expanding demand management programs to ease grid strain rather than building new natural gas plants. (New York Times)
A former Salt Lake City mayor and Utah lawmaker says the state has misspent $110 million on fossil fuel projects rather than on water, sewer and other infrastructure. (Salt Lake Tribune)
A California editorial board urges state lawmakers to pass a bill codifying a 2018 goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2045. (Los Angeles Times)