UTILITIES: Southern California Gas Co. agrees to monitor benzene levels and alert neighbors of future leaks from its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, site of a catastrophic 2015 methane leak, to settle an environmental health watchdog’s claims. (Los Angeles Daily News)

Victims of wildfires sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric’s equipment say California regulators’ renewal of the utility’s safety certification is a “license to burn.” (E&E News, subscription)
Arizona lawmakers consider requiring utility regulator candidates to have at least five years experience in finance, accounting, law, business administration or engineering. (Arizona Capitol Times)

A Colorado county challenges federal regulators’ approval of a Utah rail line that would ship waxy crude from Uinta Basin oil fields through Colorado. (Vail Daily)
The U.S. Navy continued delivering water tainted by its leaky fuel storage facility in Hawaii for weeks after tests indicated contamination, revealing flaws in an early warning system. (Honolulu Civil Beat)  
ExxonMobil and Chevron plan to boost Permian Basin oil and gas production by 25% and 10%, respectively, this year. (Forbes)
Long Beach, California’s sustainability commission urges city officials to ban new oil and gas wells even though drilling revenues fund abandoned well reclamation. (Long Beach Post) 

HYDROPOWER: Washington state researchers find hydropower not only is a major power source in the Western Interconnection, but also can be used to stabilize the grid during unexpected outages. (news release)

CLEAN ENERGY: Washington state’s Amazon and Microsoft together purchased 12.4 GW of wind and solar generating capacity in 2021, making them the top two global corporate clean power buyers. (GeekWire)

A central California county advances a Los Angeles developer’s proposal to construct a 700 MW solar plant on 3,800 acres of foothills and fallowed farmland. (Porterville Recorder)
The 250 MW Aquamarine facility, the first phase of central California’s 2.7 GW Westlands Solar Project, comes online. (news release)
A Colorado city builds a 1.67 MW solar plant to offset all of its facilities’ electricity use. (news release) 

New Mexico lawmakers advance a bill banning spent nuclear reactor fuel storage, reigniting debate over a radioactive waste disposal facility proposed for the southeast part of the state. (Albuquerque Journal)
A Washington state startup embarks on a multi-billion dollar effort to produce electricity from nuclear fusion. (Herald Business Journal) 

Hawaii lawmakers consider levying a mileage tax on electric vehicle owners. (Hawaii News Now)
Union Pacific Railroad will test 20 new electric battery-powered locomotives in its California railyards. (Omaha World-Herald) 

COMMENTARY: An Arizona free market advocate says a proposal to repeal a competitive electricity market law would “further tighten the power cartel’s chokehold” on customers. (Arizona Capitol 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.