NOTE TO READERS: Western Energy News will be taking a break for Independence Day. We will return on Tuesday, July 7.

CALIFORNIA: PG&E finally emerges from bankruptcy, one day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom authorizes a bill that would initiate a government takeover if the utility doesn’t meet certain bankruptcy deadlines or fails to perform required safety work. (New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: Meanwhile, the beleaguered utility admits to facts underlying its guilty plea for 84 deaths from 2018’s deadly Camp Fire, but rejects being condemned for a “callous disregard” for safety. (Bloomberg)

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CLIMATE: Flagstaff, Arizona makes a non-binding declaration acknowledging the region’s climate risks; and Portland, Oregon declares a climate emergency while reversing course on a freeway expansion. (Arizona Daily Sun, OPB News)

COAL: Many questions have yet to be answered one year on from Blackjewel’s bankruptcy, despite more than 2,000 court filings. (Wyoming Public Media)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado oil and gas regulators propose increasing the mill fee levied on companies to cover an anticipated budget shortfall of nearly $4 million. (Denver Post)
Hilcorp officially takes control of BP’s North Slope Alaska oil production. (Anchorage Daily News)
A Colorado anti-fracking group suspends its November ballot campaign after the state supreme court rejects gathering petition signatures electronically. (Denver Business Journal)
Colorado production data shows that month-over-month crude oil output fell by 50% in April, mainly due to 6,000 wells shutting down. (Denver Business Report)

PUBLIC LANDS:
U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is concerned about new oil and gas development being stopped on federal lands, as more 50% of New Mexico’s production is in such locations. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
New Mexico advocacy groups worry that taxpayers may not be getting their fair share of profits from BLM oil and gas lease sales. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

NATURAL GAS:
• Utilities in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado are among those opting for a natural gas-free transition in moving towards renewable energy. (PV Magazine)
• Electricity from new natural gas-fired power plants in Oregon will be a bit more expensive due to an increase in the fee plants typically use to comply with state emissions standards. (Portland Business Journal)

EQUITY: Critics are questioning why the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is hiring a white male from the fossil fuel industry to lead conservation efforts as its executive director. (Willamette Week)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Interstate 25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico is to be the state’s first “electric vehicle corridor. (Santa Fe Reporter)

GRID: Portland General Electric is set to launch a 4MW virtual power plant pilot by aggregating residential energy storage this fall. (Energy Storage News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship.***

POLITICS: Oil-friendly Democratic former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, now running for the U.S. Senate, says climate change is an “urgent need” that is “being ignored.” (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: A former director of Arizona’s energy office says investing in clean energy can help the state with its economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. (Arizona Daily Sun)

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Lisa Ellwood

Lisa is a Lenape and Nanticoke Native American freelance journalist, editor and writer currently based in the U.K. She has more than two decades’ experience working in corporate communications and print and digital media. She compiles the Western Energy News daily email digest. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University; her specializations include data journalism and visualization. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Union of Journalists (U.K.).