SOLAR: A global steel company breaks ground on a $500 million rail mill in Colorado and plans to power its manufacturing side entirely by solar after scrap has been melted by other means. (Pueblo Chieftain)

California regulators are still letting utilities invest in new ratepayer-funded natural gas infrastructure, even as the state works to decarbonize its energy mix. (Canary Media)
A growing population and rising temperatures increase electricity demand on Idaho Power’s grid, an executive says. (KMVT)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declares a drought emergency for a majority of the state during what he calls “the summer of climate change.” (Spokesman-Review)
Eugene, Oregon, spent $52,000 on a Washington forest project to offset carbon emissions the city produced in 2020. (Register-Guard)

New Mexico regulators seek more information about a major coal plant’s cooling tower collapse while chiding the plant’s operator for its lack of transparency. (Farmington Daily Times)
U.S. coal production fell last year to its lowest level since 1965, with Powder River Basin output declining 21% from 2019. (Reuters)

CLEAN ENERGY: Ogden, Utah’s city council votes to join a statewide program to help it transition to 100% net renewable energy. (Standard-Examiner)

BIOFUEL: A California county approves a proposal to build a processing plant and pipeline that will convert landfill methane into transportation fuel. (East Bay Times)

A Boulder, Colorado, nonprofit distributes 50 electric bikes to low-income essential workers. (Daily Camera)
Bend, Oregon, revives a defunct bikeshare program using bikes donated by Portland’s transportation bureau. (OPB)
Arizona mayors line up behind a proposal to bring passenger rail to Phoenix. (Arizona Republic, subscription)

LITHIUM: A Kansas-based mineral company finds a major lithium deposit in the brine of the Great Salt Lake. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: California-based energy startup Oklo announces a deal to provide power to a bitcoin mining company from its still-in-development advanced nuclear reactors. (Bloomberg)

Colorado regulators delay finalizing new bonding and orphaned-well cleanup rules until 2022. (Colorado Newsline)
Wyoming regulators require a bankrupt natural gas operator to forfeit $2.25 million in bonds so the state can plug and reclaim its abandoned wells. (Wyoming Tribune-Eagle)
A California city with a stake in 2,400 oil wells halted drilling operations as prices sunk, but plans to resume as prices rise again. (Long Beach Business Journal)
Despite rising oil prices, sales tax revenues plummet in Wyoming’s oil and gas-rich counties. (Rawlins Times)
California oil lobbyists ask regulators to remove environmental protections on groundwater reserves. (Capital & Main)
New Mexico regulators consider making new rules governing the reuse of oil and gas wastewater for non-industry purposes. (Carlsbad Current-Argus

Two university professors say electrifying all Navajo Nation homes would help ensure a sustainable future for Indian Country. (Brookings)
A Colorado pulmonologist says electrifying the transportation system would help clean the Denver area’s polluted air. (Colorado Sun)
A Colorado editorial board supports a senate bill establishing guidelines for cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells because “we are against taxpayers being forced to pick up the bill for pollution.” (Durango Herald)
Hawaii must speed up the transition to electric vehicles in order to meet its clean energy goals, a Honolulu editorial board says. (Star-Advertiser)
A Montana climate advocate argues a federal carbon fee is the fastest way to reduce emissions. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

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.