SOLAR: Wyoming’s state senate passes a controversial bill aiming to reform the state’s net metering system in its first vote, a move which critics say would “disincentivize” residential solar installations. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ALSO:
• A Hawaii Senator advocates for federal subsidies for residential and business solar installations. (KHON)
• EDF Renewables North America says two solar parks totaling 214 MW are now in operation in a Southern California county. (Renewables Now)
• A 100 MW solar farm is under construction south of Tucson, and is expected to go online this spring. (Arizona Daily Star)
• A factory that uses solar thermal energy to manufacture high-capacity commercial-grade water storage and septic tanks and other products opens in Hawaii. (West Hawaii Today)
Wyoming revises state gaming and fishing regulations to consider the impacts of solar projects. (WyoFile) 

WIND: Developers of a technology being tested at Wyoming wind farms say it has reduced eagle deaths by 82%. (Recharge)

COAL:
• New Mexico environmental groups petition regulators to stop a utility’s plan to divest from the Four Corners coal plant, saying the move would violate the state’s energy law. (Associated Press)
• An exploration of the West’s coal economy over the past 50 years and the transition to renewables finds that the closure of the Navajo Generating Station in 2019 marks a “Big Breakdown” of coal as a power-generating fuel. (High Country News)

CLIMATE:
New Mexico officials say the state’s wildfire seasons are now expected to be year-round because of climate change, but radical management changes aren’t necessary at the moment. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
Advocates express optimism that Montana’s Republican governor will be able to make progress on the state’s climate plan. (Montana Standard)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Electric pickup manufacturer Lordstown Motors chooses California for its first service center outside of Ohio, citing the state’s “favorable regulatory backdrop.” (WFMJ)
Albuquerque’s transit agency began testing its first electric bus over the weekend. (Albuquerque Journal)

OIL & GAS:
After a Colorado farmer’s house is demolished to clean up an underground natural gas leak, the industry is under pressure to assess the risk of the state’s “subterranean toxic spaghetti” of pipelines. (Denver Post)
The head of a New Mexico oil and gas trade group says the state’s industry is willing to support President Biden’s “difficult” climate change policies, but his administration’s approach needs to be “inclusive.” (Albuquerque Journal)

GRID: Xcel Energy’s CEO says the company is planning “significant investment” in transmission upgrades in Colorado. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
A New Mexico editorial board criticizes Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for failing to advocate for the state’s oil and gas industry in her State of the State speech last week. (Albuquerque Journal)
A Washington business leader advocates for natural gas, saying it needs to remain available and affordable. (Wenatchee Valley Business World)
A Wyoming editorial board says fossil fuel workers should not be left behind in the transition to renewable energy. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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Lisa Ellwood

Lisa is a Lenape and Nanticoke Native American freelance journalist, editor and writer currently based in the U.K. She has more than two decades’ experience working in corporate communications and print and digital media. She compiles the Western Energy News daily email digest. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University; her specializations include data journalism and visualization. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Union of Journalists (U.K.).