UTILITIES: Montana’s NorthWestern Energy commits to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but still plans to build two new natural gas power plants. (Billings Gazette)

ALSO:
Nevada regulators consider a rule that would allow large power users that defected from NV Energy to return to the utility. (Nevada Independent)
• New Mexico regulators dispute the state attorney general’s accusations that they are responsible for potential summer generation capacity shortages stemming from the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station’s closure. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

SOLAR:
Oregon regulators approve a 3,900-acre solar facility roughly four years after the project was first proposed. (Capital Press)   
Federal regulators advance four solar plus storage projects, totaling 700 MW of capacity, proposed for southern Nevada’s Moapa Indian Reservation. (news release)
A San Diego taxpayer advocate supports California’s proposal to slash net metering payments and add a “sunshine tax” on rooftop solar. (CBS8)

OIL & GAS:
A Hawaii refinery says it is suspending petroleum purchases from Russia, which supplies about 25% of the state’s crude oil. (Hawaii News Now)
A Colorado oil and gas company says soaring commodity prices will not spur it to step up drilling as it prioritizes cash flows and investor returns instead of increased production. (Colorado Newsline)
Global insurance giant AIG says it will no longer support investments in Arctic oil and gas drilling, coal mines or coal power plants. (KTUU)
• Hawaii advocates say a U.S. Navy fuel storage facility’s contamination of drinking water wells that sickened 6,000 people has shattered Native Hawaiians’ trust in the military. (Associated Press) 
A progressive think tank says federal approval of ConocoPhillips’ Willow Arctic oil project would negate carbon emissions reductions the Biden administration hopes to achieve under its renewable energy targets. (Washington Post)  
Concern about climate change and an increased emphasis on environmental justice may lead to the demise of the oil industry Los Angeles was built on. (New Yorker)

CLEAN ENERGY: Developers propose a “cluster” of renewable energy projects on federal lands in southern Idaho, including three wind and two solar facilities. (Boise State Public Radio)

STORAGE:
The Pacific Northwest National Lab offers a third license to a private company to help it develop long-duration vanadium redox flow battery technology. (Utility Dive)
California regulators halt exploratory drilling for a compressed air energy storage facility proposed for the state’s central coast, saying the site isn’t suitable for power plants. (New Times SLO)

NUCLEAR: A congressional bill aimed at blocking interim spent reactor fuel storage sites in Texas and New Mexico would derail efforts to dispose of waste from California’s shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. (Mercury News)

BIOFUEL: Utah researchers develop a method to convert insect- or disease-killed and wildfire-prone trees into biomass fuel that can be burned in coal power plants. (ABC4)

COMMENTARY: A Utah taxpayer advocate urges regulators to deny a coal mine expansion proposed by a company that has polluted a stream, not adequately reclaimed mined lands and not paid county property taxes since 2018. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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.