Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issues an emergency order to block the U.S. EPA from shutting down one of a coal plant’s four units for failing to comply with regional haze standards. (WyoFile)
U.S. coal-fired power generation in 2021 jumped 22% from the prior year, boosting production at beleaguered Western mines. (Canary Media)

Pacific Gas & Electric struggles to restore power to more than 50,000 northern California residents after a major winter storm topples utility lines. (KCRA)  
High winds damage utility lines in southeast Alaska, leaving tens of thousands of people without power. (Anchorage Daily News)

CLIMATE: Experts say climate change-induced drought and warming temperatures set the stage for the fire that destroyed 991 homes in suburban Denver. (Big Pivots)

Washington state approves a 625-acre solar project to be constructed on private agricultural land in the eastern part of the state. (Capital Press)
Tesla asks employees to protest a California proposal to slash net metering rates for rooftop solar that could cut into the company’s residential solar business. (CNBC)
The developers of a proposed 500 MW solar plus storage project in Kern County, California, alter the installation’s design in response to residents’ concerns about aesthetics. (PV Magazine)
The Biden administration approves two large solar projects on public land in California’s Mojave Desert. (Los Angeles Times)

HYDROPOWER: California’s record snowfall and rain boost reservoir water levels and help restore drought-diminished hydropower generating capacity. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

HYDROGEN: New Mexico environmentalists oppose the Democratic governor’s proposal to create a hydrogen hub because it would derive the fuel from natural gas. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

The operator of the nation’s only active uranium mill, located in southeast Utah, retools it also to process rare earth elements used in electric vehicles. (S&P Global)  
A Texas company hopes to revive Wyoming’s dormant uranium industry with its purchase of several of the state’s mines. (Casper Star-Tribune)

WIND: Construction is underway on a 750 MW wind installation in eastern Montana to replace power lost from the imminent closure of Colstrip coal plant. (Billings Gazette)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy had been spending $597 million in eastern Colorado to reduce the risk of its equipment sparking wildfires ahead of ongoing fires in the area. (The Gazette)

POLITICS: Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada dies, leaving a legacy on energy issues that included opposition to coal, support for natural gas and renewable development and halting  the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY: An environmental advocate says solar installations should be put on parking lot canopies and in residential, commercial and industrial zones to focus energy production in load centers and avoid “paving over” public lands with photovoltaic panels. (The Hill)

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.