CLIMATE: An Oregon bill to set a timetable for utilities to eliminate carbon emissions appears poised to pass, avoiding the partisan fight over cap-and-trade that led to Republican walkouts in 2019 and 2020. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

ALSO: Flagstaff’s city council will vote next month on a plan for the city to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. (Arizona Daily Sun)

OIL & GAS: Colorado regulators order an independent operator to shut down 87 wells in the state after multiple spills, releases, and other violations. (Colorado Sun)

GRID: A bid by California’s grid operator to block Northwestern hydropower from passing through to other states has sparked strong opposition among neighboring utilities and states. (S&P Global)

HYDROPOWER:
• Hoover Dam’s capacity to generate electricity is waning due to the ongoing drought and decreasing flows in the Colorado River. (Arizona Republic)
• Puget Sound Energy renews an agreement to buy hydropower from the Colville Confederated Tribes. (Daily Energy Insider)

UTILITIES: Opponents are challenging a San Diego utility franchise deal struck earlier this week, saying the vote violated open meeting laws. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
The Biden administration says it will look to domestic sources for minerals used in electric vehicles, pushing back against news reports saying it would go overseas to appease U.S. environmentalists. (E&E News, subscription)
• California is considering battery longevity standards for cars sold in the state, including requiring a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty. (Green Car Reports)
• Arizona’s Pinal County is rapidly becoming a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing. (AZ Big Media)

LITHIUM:
• Four conservation groups intensify their efforts to stop a proposed Nevada lithium mine from going forward. (E&E News, subscriptions)
• California lawmakers launch an effort to develop a lithium extraction industry at the Salton Sea. (Spectrum News 1)

NUCLEAR:
A Washington utility has signed an agreement with NuScale to explore including a small modular reactor in a proposed complex at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (NetZero Insider, subscription)
• PG&E, the owner of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in central California, plans to store its spent fuel in dry casks following its 2025 shutdown. (KSBY)

POLLUTION: EPA data shows an uptick in wildfire smoke offset last year’s coronavirus-related emissions reductions in the West. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: A California nonprofit is installing a total of 9.8 MW of solar panels backed by 4.3 MW-hours of storage at its offices around the state. (North Bay Business Journal)

MICROGRIDS: A California Army base broke ground this week on a $21.6 million microgrid project, the first of its kind for an Army installation. (KION)

COMMENTARY:
• Washington Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse says a proposal to remove dams on the Lower Snake River is a “nonstarter.” (Empire Press)
• A journalist writes that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of a measure that would require tribal consent before siting energy projects on sacred land is an “egregious” example of progressives failing to stand up for Indigenous sovereignty. (New Republic)
• A California professor says e-bikes are “carbon crushers” that provide a more affordable way to cut emissions. (CalMatters)
• A Montana lawmaker says bills passed this year favoring Northwestern Energy are examples of “bald-faced corporate cronyism at its worst.” (Montana Standard)

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.