CLIMATE: At least 63 people died from heat-related causes in Oregon during the recent heat wave. (Oregonian)

Pacific Gas & Electric seeks a rate increase to fund wildfire prevention upgrades after it was found liable for billions of dollars in damage from equipment-sparked California fires. (Reuters)
Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s secretive task force, full of public officials, regulators, and power providers, is guiding Hawaii energy policy from behind closed doors. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
Montana regulators for a second year postpone an energy-use reduction pilot program that would have returned $9.1 million to NorthWestern Energy customers had it been in effect last year. (Daily Montanan)
Xcel Energy begins distributing smart meters to Colorado ratepayers with the goal of having all customers equipped by 2024. (CBS4)

GRID: The entire western U.S. is at elevated risk for power shortages this summer as power use climbs to combat heat waves, the Energy Information Administration says. (EIA)

The developer of a proposed solar-plus-battery facility in New Mexico secures financing for the project, which will help replace the San Juan Generating Station when it closes next year. (Renewables Now)  
A California community energy firm launches programs that offer discounted renewable energy to disadvantaged communities. (news release) 

PUBLIC LANDS: An environmental advocacy group says the Bureau of Land Management fired an environmental specialist because he raised concerns about a Wyoming oil and gas project’s effects on nesting raptors. (WyoFile)

OIL & GAS: In an effort to head off the Biden administration’s potential oil and gas leasing reforms, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney introduces a bill that would freeze onshore drilling royalty rates at 12.5 percent. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

GEOTHERMAL: A study out of the California Institute of Technology finds geothermal energy development can reduce major earthquake risk by inducing small, tension-relieving quakes. (news release)

HYDROGEN: Southern California Gas launches a pilot program to test a natural gas-hydrogen blend for residential customers. (Reuters)

LITHIUM: The developer of a proposed lithium mine in Nevada strikes a deal to sell the mineral to a South Korean cathode battery manufacturer. (E&E News, subscription)

HYDROPOWER: Northwestern Congress members urge the Biden administration to prioritize renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty, including provisions that affect hydropower dam operations. (Spokesman-Review)

Colorado allocates $15 million to a state office that helps coal mine and power plant workers transition into a new energy economy. (Denver Post)
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a California utility launch an effort to provide a just clean energy transition in Los Angeles. (PV Magazine)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs a bill creating a special taxation district for a proposed rail line on the state’s heavily populated Front Range. (Colorado Sun)
A California city explores replacing its municipal fleet with electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. (Voice of OC)

CLEAN ENERGY: U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will visit Denver today to talk about clean energy, the infrastructure package being debated by Congress and reducing carbon emissions. (CBS4)

• A California climate advocate says state regulators are working against climate goals by devaluing residential rooftop solar. (CalMatters)
A California community leader says the state’s net metering policies for rooftop solar unfairly shift costs to communities of color. (Los Angeles Sentinel)

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.