OIL & GAS: An analysis finds significantly more federal land is available for oil and gas drilling than for renewable energy development, raising questions about the Biden administration’s commitment to fight climate change. (Bloomberg) 

ALSO:
Federal analysts predict Permian Basin oil production will reach an all-time high of 5.4 million barrels per day in August. (Reuters)
The federal Bureau of Land Management considers restricting oil and gas drilling in important big game habitat on public lands in Colorado. (news release, E&E News, subscription)

WIND: Pattern Energy purchases the proposed 525 kV SunZia transmission project to carry wind power from its New Mexico facilities to Arizona and solar power in the opposite direction. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Colorado solar advocates criticize Xcel Energy’s slow smart meter rollout, saying it prevents the utility from paying fair rates for rooftop solar. (Colorado Sun)

GRID: Researchers find Northern California must expedite distribution grid upgrades to meet rising demands from electrification and electric vehicle adoption. (Daily Californian)

UTILITIES: California investigators suggest Southern California Edison power lines sparked the 154-acre Emerald Fire in Orange County in February. (Los Angeles Times) 

NUCLEAR: Pacific Gas & Electric officials say they’d have to clear numerous state and federal hurdles to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open beyond its planned 2025 retirement, even if it receives federal bailout funds. (E&E News)

TRANSPORTATION:
Washington state wildlife officials study electric bikes’ impacts to help determine whether they should be allowed on trails. (Associated Press)
Washington environmental officials seek public input on a proposed rule that would reduce transportation fuels’ carbon intensity 20% by 2038. (news release)
Nonprofits in California’s Bay Area work to raise funds and create incentive programs to construct electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (North Bay Business Journal)
Alaska transportation officials seek public input on plans to spend $50 million in federal funds to build out its electric vehicle charging network. (KTOO)

POLITICS: California Gov. Gavin Newsom positions himself as a climate leader, fueling speculation that he may run for President in 2024. (The Hill)

GEOTHERMAL: Commercial operations begin at a 30 MW geothermal facility in Northern California. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
A Colorado farmer calls for expedited permitting for transmission lines that would carry renewable power from rural to urban areas. (Colorado Sun)
A California editorial board says there are more effective ways for Los Angeles leaders to reduce fossil fuel use than a proposed ban on new gas stations. (Los Angeles Times)

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Jonathan P. Thompson

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.