Editor’s note: Western Energy News will not publish on Monday for the Juneteenth holiday. We’ll be back on Tuesday.
CLEAN ENERGY: The Biden administration proposes streamlining permitting and permanently reducing project fees by about 80% for wind and solar development on federal lands. (Reuters)
• California solar developers worry the Biden administration’s proposed public land rule, which aims to put conservation on par with other uses, would hinder clean energy projects by giving environmentalists new tools to block development. (Los Angeles Times)
• U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, a California Democrat, calls on policymakers to expedite power grid expansion to enable clean energy development. (CBS8)
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SOLAR: Industry officials say California’s new policy slashing compensation for rooftop solar has boosted residential battery sales by over 20% since before the net-metering rule was implemented. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)
MICROGRIDS: California researchers find solar-plus-battery powered microgrids offer more protection against wildfire-related outages and are cheaper than conventional diesel-generator systems. (news release)
• Salt River Project reaches a deal with a historically Black community that would let the Arizona utility expand a natural gas power plant in exchange for increased health and financial commitments for residents. (Arizona Republic)
• Arizona Public Service and state regulators reach a preliminary deal that would end an ongoing legal battle over the utility’s maximum allowed profit and ability to recover costs from ratepayers. (12 News)
CLIMATE: Indigenous plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Montana’s fossil fuel-friendly policies say human-caused climate change threatens their culture and connection to the land. (Billings Gazette)
• The San Francisco Bay Area becomes the nation’s first metro where electric and hybrid vehicles compose 50% or more of new car sales. (KTVU)
• A rural school district in southern New Mexico uses federal funds to purchase two electric buses. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• A Colorado community offers residents $250 rebates against new electric bicycle purchases. (Sopris Sun)
TRANSPORTATION: California lawmakers pass a budget that includes funds to bail out transit agencies facing a “fiscal cliff,” but it is not clear whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign it. (East Bay Times)
ELECTRIFICATION: Alaska U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola breaks with her Democratic colleagues by co-sponsoring bills that would preemptively block a federal natural gas stove ban or new efficiency standards for the appliances. (Anchorage Daily News)
CRITICAL MINERALS: Indigenous advocates argue development of a massive proposed copper mine in central Arizona would violate their religious liberties by destroying sacred lands. (Los Angeles Times)
BATTERIES: California researchers develop long-lasting lithium-ion battery technology that does not require cobalt, which is often mined using child labor. (news release)