OIL & GAS: The Biden administration resumes oil and gas lease sales and increases royalty rates on new leases, but says it will better incorporate public input, tribal consultation and science into leasing decisions. (New York Times) 

Environmental advocates urge California regulators to ban existing oil and gas wells within a new 3,200-foot setback zone for new development. (Bakersfield Californian)
Alaska lawmakers consider setting aside $2 million to fund legal challenges to Biden administration oil and gas policies. (Anchorage Daily News, subscription)
Oregon regulators say more than 12,000 gallons of petroleum products spilled into a creek last week during a gas station fire in the southern part of the state. (Oregonian)  
New Mexico has until May 13 to apply for $25 million in federal infrastructure funds to clean up some 1,700 abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

WIND: A developer proposes a 300 MW wind power facility, which would be Arizona’s largest, on 44,000 acres outside of Tucson. (Arizona Daily Star)

Grid congestion prevents thousands of New Mexico residents from connecting new rooftop solar systems to the distribution network. (Albuquerque Journal)
Kern County, California’s planning commission unanimously approves a 1,500 MW solar project proposed for 8,300 acres of private land. (Mojave Desert News)
Developers of a proposed solar facility rejected by a Colorado coal-producing county last month say they plan to reapply. (Daily Sentinel)
A New Mexico county rejects a developer’s proposal to construct two community solar projects on private land. (Roswell Daily Record)

UTILITIES: San Diego Gas & Electric parent company Sempra Energy reaps its highest-ever profits after inflation and high natural gas prices cause customer bills to spike. (KPBS)

High winds affect Southern California utility lines, leaving more than 3,000 residents without power. (Victorville Daily Press)
Tucson, Arizona, residents and a utility face-off over whether a planned transmission line should be buried or run aboveground. (KOLD)  
Volunteer utility crews bring electricity to 31 Navajo Nation residents who have asked for decades to be connected to the grid. (FOX10) 

LITHIUM: Utah lawmakers propose using revenues from lithium production to shore up the Great Salt Lake’s declining health and water levels. (Salt Lake Tribune)

CLIMATE: Arizona researchers build a direct-air carbon capturing “mechanical tree” on a university campus. (news release) 

COMMENTARY: Colorado mayors urge state regulators to reject Xcel Energy’s plan to continue operating the Comanche 3 coal power plant until 2034. (Colorado Sun) 

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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.