UTILITIES: The chair of Hawaii’s utility regulator says Hawaii Electric’s plan to replace a 180 MW coal plant could require a switch to oil-fired generation, a move likened to “going from cigarettes to crack.” (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
A proposed Oregon bill would require all utilities in the state to generate all of their power from carbon-free sources by 2040. (Portland Tribune)
Customers of a New Mexico utility have been receiving disconnection notices despite a state moratorium. (Farmington Daily Times)
A California Supreme Court ruling allows opponents of new power plants generating more than 50 MW of power to file suit in their local Superior Court under environmental laws. (San Francisco Chronicle)

COAL: The town of Colstrip, Montana wants state lawmakers to require that its water supply keep flowing as part of the environmental cleanup from the local coal-fired power plant after the facility closes. (Billings Gazette)

POLLUTION:
A data analysis finds that air quality in the U.S. actually deteriorated last year during pandemic lockdowns compared to other countries, especially on the West Coast due to record-setting wildfires. (East Bay Times)
Portland’s newly-elected city commissioner is set to overhaul a proposal to create two new carbon emissions fees after speaking with more than 20 stakeholders. (Willamette Week)

PIPELINES: Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are among 21 Republican-led states suing President Biden over his executive order revoking the Keystone XL pipleline’s permit, alleging the president exceeded his authority. (NBC News)

OIL & GAS:
A New Mexico bill that would allow the state to enact stricter environmental regulations than federal law advances a House committee, but faces opposition from the oil and gas industry. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
A Los Angeles city council committee advances a motion calling for the state to develop a plan for shutting down an area gas facility. (news release)

BIOFUEL: An “erratic” large fire and explosions at an Oregon ethanol plant prompts evacuations of nearby residents. (The Oregonian) 

PUBLIC LANDS:
The Bureau of Land Management is set to study what could be the first solar power project on federal land inside a Southern California renewable energy zone. (E&E News)
Indigenous campaigners are hopeful that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will involve tribes and advocates in decisions concerning the environmental and land use, including developing renewable energy on tribal lands. (High Country News, The Hill)

SOLAR:
• A 61 MW Nevada solar farm that began commercial operation in December 2020 is so far outperforming its expected power generation despite lower-than-expected levels of sunshine. (Solar Industry)
Black Hills Energy signs a 15-year power agreement for 200 MW of utility-scale solar. (KRDO)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian will install charging stations at all Colorado state parks, calling the state “an ideal flagship deployment.” (Colorado Sun)
California-based Lucid Motors is exploring ways to repurpose its electric vehicle batteries, including energy storage. (Tech Crunch)

COMMENTARY:
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory geochemist in an interview discusses what they believe is needed to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions in combating climate change. (Livermore Independent)
A Montana rancher says a proposed state bill gives coal companies room to avoid their land and water reclamation responsibilities. (Montana Standard)

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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.).