UTILITIES: Northern California prosecutors charge Pacific Gas & Electric with manslaughter and other crimes relating to a fire sparked by the utility’s equipment last year. (Associated Press)

PG&E’s new “fast trip” wildfire prevention system has triggered 329 unplanned power outages since late July, drawing the ire of some customers. (San Francisco Chronicle)  
NV Energy plans to implement a public safety power outage in the Lake Tahoe area today due to high wildfire risk. (news release)

Climate change is leading the atmosphere to evaporate an increasing amount of water and exacerbating California’s record-setting drought, according to recent findings. (Los Angeles Times)
Western utilities are turning to fossil fuels to replace drought-diminished hydropower generating capacity. (Bloomberg)

Denver International Airport plans to permanently plug 64 oil and gas wells on the facility’s grounds as part of its new sustainability plan. (Denver Post)
The Biden administration puts the brakes on oil and gas drilling permit approvals after coming under fire for issuing too many. (E&E News, subscription)
New methane rules expected from the Biden administration will have little effect on oil and gas producers in Colorado and New Mexico, where state-level emissions rules are already in place. (E&E News)
An earthquake briefly knocked out power Friday to Marathon Petroleum Corp’s 360-barrel-per-day Los Angeles refinery, forcing it to flare off excess gases. (Los Angeles Times) 

COAL: Internal documents confirm the Utah Inland Port Authority explored rehabilitating a northern California railroad to haul Western coal to the coast for export. (Salt Lake Tribune, subscription)

WIND: The federal Bureau of Land Management orders a southern California wind farm to halt operations after a turbine collapsed earlier this month. (Imperial Valley Press)  

STORAGE: Developers tentatively propose building a large pumped hydro energy storage facility in Kern County, California. (Bakersfield California)

LITHIUM: A would-be developer hopes to “commercialize an environmental disaster” by building lithium extraction facilities at California’s Salton Sea, but critics call the proposed ventures “disaster capitalism.” (Guardian)

High uranium prices and a shift to producing rare earths alongside yellowcake breathe new life into the long-struggling White Mesa uranium mill in southeastern Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune)   
The U.S. Department of Defense begins gathering input on its plans to build a mobile microreactor at the Idaho National Laboratory to provide carbon-free power to remote operations. (Associated Press) 

COMMENTARY: A California columnist says “renewable natural gas” is not renewable and will do little to nothing to avert global warming. (Los Angeles Times)

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.