UTILITIES: Pacific Gas & Electric says it will bury 10,000 miles of power lines to reduce fire hazards as yet another wildfire potentially sparked by its equipment burns in California. (New York Times)

Powerline ignitions and wind speeds are the biggest factors determining the magnitude of Santa Ana Wind-driven fires in California, according to a new study. (news release)
Rural Colorado electric cooperatives seeking to split from power wholesaler Tri-State Generation face estimated exit fees ranging from hundreds of millions of dollars to more than a billion. (Colorado Sun)
A proposed merger between Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid hits another hurdle as regulators look into a criminal investigation of Avangrid’s Spanish parent company. (Utility Dive) 

Oregon utility leaders say the state’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2040 can be achieved only with major technological advances, energy market restructuring and shifts in transmission coordination. (Oregonian)
Utah Republican U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney says a failure to act to prevent global warming due to politics would be “an extraordinary lapse in America’s judgment.” (Deseret News)

LITHIUM: A federal judge hears opening arguments from conservationists suing over the Trump administration’s approval of a proposed Nevada lithium mine that would disturb sacred tribal burial grounds. (Associated Press)

A major grid-connected battery storage system goes online in Southern California. (news release)
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico develop a new class of molten-sodium batteries for grid-scale energy storage. (news release)

Montana’s largest utility agrees to purchase power from an 80 MW solar facility proposed for the southern part of the state. (Missoulian)  
A 200 MW Arizona solar installation built to power Microsoft data centers is now online, its owner says. (Data Center Dynamics)

ELECTRIFICATION: Santa Barbara, California’s city council votes to prohibit natural gas in all new construction starting at the beginning of next year, with cooking appliances in restaurants and institutions exempted. (KCBX)

EFFICIENCY: A new study out of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California shows how making buildings more energy efficient on a large scale can expedite the clean energy transition by turning buildings into grid resources. (news release)

An Oregon State University study finds that infants born near oil and gas facilities in Texas had lower birth weights than those born before drilling began in the areas. (news release)
Sequestering carbon in old oil fields — such as in parts of the Permian Basin — is less likely to cause earthquakes than storing it in undrilled areas, according to a recent study. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico’s Democratic governor and Congress members oppose a plan to build an interim spent reactor fuel storage facility in the southeastern corner of the state. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: An energy think tank analyst urges Arizona regulators to approve transition funding for the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe and other communities affected by coal mine and power plant shutdowns. (IEEFA)

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.