CRITICAL MINERALS: Indigenous and environmental advocates worry that a rush to mine so-called green metals — used in electric vehicles, batteries and other clean energy technology — could stress water supplies in the arid West. (NPR) 

ALSO:

  • Alaska Native tribal leaders push back against a proposal to mine the nation’s largest known graphite deposit on the Seward Peninsula, saying it would harm the environment and subsistence harvests. (KTOO)
  • A federal appeals court rejects environmentalists’ attempts to block exploratory drilling in southern Arizona for minerals used in electric vehicle batteries. (Arizona Republic) 

OIL & GAS: Colorado regulators say a surge in new abandoned oil and gas wells in the state stem from small operators shutting down or leaving the area and the discovery of old unplugged sites. (Colorado Sun)

TRANSMISSION: A company proposes building a high-voltage direct-current transmission line to carry wind power from eastern New Mexico to an electricity hub in the northwestern part of the state. (NM Political Report)

WIND: California clean energy officials say a recently passed state bill establishing a central power purchaser will kick-start the state’s nascent floating offshore wind industry. (Canary Media)

SOLAR: 

STORAGE: The prospect of a federal grant advances a proposed 1,200 MWh long-duration pumped thermal energy storage facility at a retiring Alaska coal plant. (Anchorage Daily News)

TRANSPORTATION: 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Four California counties exceeded 30% electric vehicle penetration by the end of last year, the nation’s only counties to do so. (Green Car Congress)

UTILITIES: Idaho Power partners with a state college on a program aimed at preparing students for energy sector careers. (KTVB)    

CLIMATE: Portland, Oregon’s city council is expected to approve $750 million in clean energy fund expenditures on projects aimed at protecting low-income residents and communities of color from climate change’s effects. (Oregonian)  

GRID: Hawaii officials say a power outage early on the day of the deadly Maui blazes may have kept tourists away from Lahaina, significantly reducing the number of fatalities. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

HYDROPOWER: The U.S. Energy Department awards $6.8 million to wave energy research and development projects, including ones in Idaho, California and Washington. (Offshore Energy)

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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.