Western Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Jonathan Thompson.

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OIL & GAS: The Biden administration calls on Congress to impose fees on oil companies for stockpiling federal land leases without developing them and says it will release 1 million barrels per day of oil from reserves to lower gasoline prices. (Politico)

ALSO:
Documents suggest a lack of cement well casing may have led to an ongoing methane leak at a ConocoPhillips drilling facility in Alaska. (Anchorage Daily News)
In federal appeals court, U.S. Interior Department officials defend the department’s reinstatement of an Obama-era oil and gas royalty rule the Trump administration had rescinded. (E&E News, subscription)
• Researchers call for an integrated approach to regulating oil and gas drilling to protect both human health and the natural environment. (news release)  

LITHIUM: President Biden invokes the Defense Production Act to allow the government to subsidize production of lithium and other metals used in electric vehicle and grid-scale batteries. (New York Times)

NUCLEAR: U.S. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming introduces legislation that would mandate the creation of a uranium reserve to promote domestic mining and cut reliance on Russian imports. (E&E News, subscription) 

UTILITIES: New Mexico’s public utility commission clears the way for regulators to review a coal plant abandonment financing dispute. (Associated Press) 

CLEAN ENERGY: California lawmakers consider a slew of climate and clean energy bills to boost  wind and solar deployment, help fossil fuel workers transition to new jobs, electrify vehicles, and more. (Los Angeles Times)

WIND: California natural gas company Sempra considers investing in a planned offshore wind facility along the state’s central coast. (San Diego Union Tribune, subscription)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Colorado lawmakers introduce a bill that would fund electric school bus purchases, incentivize diesel truck retirements and create a state e-bike program. (Colorado Newsline)
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signs onto a multi-state effort to expedite deployment of electric vehicles. (news release)  

EFFICIENCY: Hawaii receives $3.6 million in federal infrastructure funds to assist low-income households make home energy efficiency upgrades. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

HYDROPOWER: Federal regulators seek public input on a proposed pumped hydropower storage project near southern Nevada’s Red Rock National Conservation Area. (KLAS) 

TRANSITION: Federal officials suggest ways Wyoming could repurpose its extensive fossil fuel infrastructure after it is retired or abandoned. (Casper Star-Tribune)

GEOTHERMAL: University of California, Berkeley researchers explore using subterranean “natural heat pumps” to heat and cool campus buildings. (KPIX) 

COMMENTARY:
• A Colorado editor says his state must act more quickly to phase out fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy economy. (Colorado Newsline)
• A Colorado clean energy advocate urges lawmakers to pass a bill that would set firm benchmarks for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. (Colorado Sun)

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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.