UTILITIES: Pacific Gas & Electric, whose equipment sparked the 2019 Kincaid Fire, agrees to pay $125 million in fines and penalties for damages and to cover costs to remove abandoned transmission facilities. (Los Angeles Times)

A cyberattack on a rural Colorado utility takes down 90% of its internal systems and causes 25 years of historic data to be lost. (ZDNet)   
A coalition of New Mexico tribal, business, environmental and government leaders hold a press conference to support the proposed Avangrid-Public Service Company of New Mexico merger in advance of this month’s vote. (Albuquerque Journal)
A lawsuit filed in New York accuses Avangrid and its parent company of generating millions of dollars of wasteful equipment expenditures to turn a profit from its customers. (Searchlight New Mexico)
Arizona Public Service launches a rebate program for battery-owning customers who share data and dispatch power during times of peak demand. (PV Magazine)

U.S. lawmakers call on oil companies to disclose more Permian Basin methane emission data. (Washington Post)
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming introduces a bill that would compensate states for revenue lost when oil and gas lease sales don’t take place due to a federal moratorium or other action. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Conservation groups seek records on the U.S. Interior Department’s recent report reviewing the federal oil and gas leasing program, which many environmentalists deemed inadequate. (E&E News, subscription)
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele calls a possible leak at a Navy fueling station in Hawaii a “catastrophe of astronomical proportions.” (E&E News, subscription)

A Portland, Oregon, transit agency, once the state’s largest diesel consumer, switches all of its buses to renewable diesel made from vegetable oil and natural fats. (Oregonian)
Arizona mining company Freeport-McMoRan explores converting 600 haul trucks, requiring 180 million gallons of diesel annually, to electric or hydrogen power. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: California energy officials say weaker manufactured home efficiency standards that federal regulators are considering could threaten grid reliability and result in increased greenhouse gas emissions. (Utility Dive)

California regulators order utilities to secure 3 GW of additional capacity by increasing battery storage and production from natural gas plants and increasing payments to demand response customers. (RTO Insider, subscription)
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak forms a task force to advise lawmakers on potentially joining a regional transmission organization. (RTO Insider, subscription) 

LITHIUM: An Australian company begins exploratory drilling at the site of a proposed lithium mine in southeast Oregon. (OPB)

Denver, Colorado, goes without measurable snowfall before December for the first time since record-keeping began in 1882. (KCRA)
California researchers find the Western mountain snowpack, which feeds hydropower dams, will continue to dwindle due to climate change and may disappear by the end of the century. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY: Hydropower advocates urge lawmakers to support hydroelectricity incentives and dam modernization provisions in Democrats’ federal reconciliation bill. (Portland Tribune) 

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.