OIL & GAS: A Trump-appointed federal judge suspends the Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing freeze, saying that the power to enact such a moratorium — which he found damaged the economies of fossil fuel-dependent states — lies only with Congress. (New York Times)

• A recent report finds that Hilcorp Energy is the largest methane emitter in the nation, thanks mostly to leaky pneumatic devices at its New Mexico operations. (NM Political Report)
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon opposes the Biden administration’s fossil fuel royalty rule change. (Wyoming Public Radio)

HYDROPOWER: California’s hydropower generation is already 40 percent lower than last year due to drought, and one of its major hydroelectric stations could shut down by August due to low water levels. (Bloomberg, Associated Press)

California’s grid operators may have to call for conservation measures in order to avoid power outages during this week’s extreme heat wave. (Mercury News)
New Mexico regulators receive the first application for grid modernization under a new state law that allows utilities to recover costs for installing smart meters and other upgrades. (NM Political Report)

COAL: A U.S. House panel investigates the slow cleanup of closed coal mines, with a focus on the Kayenta Mine on the Navajo Nation. (Arizona Mirror)

PUBLIC LANDS: Utah’s Republican congressional delegation moves to stop the Biden administration from restoring the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. (E&E News, subscription)

TRANSPORTATION: Portland’s transit agency plans to cut emissions by 25 percent by powering its trains, buses, and facilities with electricity generated from renewables. (Portland Mercury)

Ride-sharing company Lyft launches an electric vehicle rental program in the San Francisco Bay Area for its drivers; the company’s rental programs have been criticized for saddling low-paid drivers with higher costs. (Reuters, Los Angeles Times)
A California electric vehicle manufacturer says its 10,000-vehicle-per-year factory will be operational next summer. (L.A. Biz)

ELECTRIFICATION: The City of Denver unveils a plan to replace natural gas space and water heaters with electric heat pumps. (Colorado Sun)

UTILITIES: California utilities push back against state regulators requiring them to procure fossil fuel resources to help replace power lost when Diablo Canyon nuclear plant closes. (Utility Dive)

Renewable energy developers and farmers in Hawaii compete with one another for flat, vacant land. (Honolulu Civil Beats)
An Idaho company plans to build a 300-megawatt solar project west of Albuquerque. (Albuquerque Journal)
An Air Force base in New Mexico installs a solar project allowing it to get 4 percent of its energy from renewable sources. (Albuquerque Business First)

BIOFUELS: An Idaho company embarks on a massive expansion of a facility that converts dairy cow manure into methane. (Biomass Magazine)

COMMENTARY: A columnist says California’s extreme heat and drought will put the state’s decarbonization plans to the test by forcing it to turn to natural gas to meet rising power demand. (Bloomberg)

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.