OIL & GAS: A coalition of Utah counties votes to halt the environmental planning process for a “hydrocarbon highway” that would be used for trucking Uinta Basin oil to market. (KUER)

The Biden administration issued more oil and gas drilling permits on public lands last year than Trump did during his first year, but the pace of approvals has decreased in recent months. (E&E News)
New Mexico regulators begin the final phase of developing and implementing rules that would limit ozone-forming emissions from oil and gas facilities. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
California advocates warn the oil and gas industry could use high oil prices amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to undermine proposed climate legislation. (Capital & Main)
New Mexico lawmakers consider using projected budget surplus resulting from high oil prices to provide residents relief from high gasoline prices. (Santa Fe New Mexican)  

Wyoming analysts say rising oil prices and the state’s shift from relying on relatively stable coal revenues to oil and gas expose it to volatile global petroleum markets. (WyoFile)
Arizona lawmakers advance a bill that would shift regulation of coal power plant ash disposal from federal to state officials. (Associated Press)

California transit agencies say high gas prices have spurred a ridership rebound from a two-year pandemic-induced slump. (East Bay Times, subscription)
Colorado begins installing electric vehicle chargers at state parks. (news release) 

WIND: Proposed wind power development in New Mexico hinges on the construction of a 520-mile, high-voltage transmission line that has been in the permitting process for 15 years. (Albuquerque Journal)

SOLAR: A California court hears arguments this week in advocacy groups’ lawsuit to overturn Alameda County’s 2020 approval of a 347-acre solar facility. (news release)

GRID: Northern California residents frustrated by rising power bills, utility-sparked wildfires and power outages are defecting from the grid altogether. (New York Times)

HYDROGEN: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham orders state agencies to pursue federal funding to establish hydrogen hubs after lawmakers denied similar legislative efforts. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)  

 U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, proposes a $50 million federal grant program to support domestic lithium and other critical mineral mining, processing and recycling. (OPB)
• A 150-year-old law lets mining companies dig for rare earth minerals on public land without paying royalties or facing much oversight of their environmental impacts. (Inside Climate News)

Permian Basin oil and gas companies join New Mexico environmentalists and lawmakers to fight plans to store spent nuclear reactor fuel in the state’s southeast corner. (Associated Press)
Environmentalists say the Biden administration’s effort to accelerate domestic uranium production to offset Russian reactor fuel imports could harm Western uranium mining and milling communities. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: An Arizona mining executive says more copper mining is necessary to supply the growing demand for electric vehicles, renewable energy and “a cleaner, decarbonized society.” (Arizona Central)

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.