EFFICIENCY: California billionaire Tom Steyer aims to create a “new model of climate investing” by buying residential properties in the West and installing solar panels and other efficiency upgrades on them. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: Arizona receives $47.5 million in federal funds for weatherization and other efficiency upgrades on low-income residents’ homes. (Arizona Central)

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The U.S. EPA fines a California oil refinery $1.2 million for flaring incidents that spewed pollutants into residential neighborhoods in 2017 and 2019. (San Francisco Chronicle)
ConocoPhillips begins constructing its Willow drilling project in Alaska, but is challenged by thawing permafrost and a predicted crash in petroleum demand before it comes online in six years. (New York Times)
New Mexico’s congressional delegation votes against a U.S. House bill aimed at speeding up oil and gas permitting by loosening regulations and waiving fees. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

The Biden administration offers incentives for clean energy projects in fossil fuel-reliant communities, including northwest New Mexico where a coal plant recently closed. (NM Political Report)
An advocacy group-sponsored study finds Wyoming’s emerging industries could save hundreds of millions of dollars by repurposing Wyoming’s coal assets, like transmission infrastructure and railways, instead of building from scratch. (Casper Star-Tribune)

• An Oregon startup develops a rooftop solar kit for camper vans and recreational vehicles. (Oregonian)  
El Paso Electric breaks ground on a 120 MW solar-plus-storage facility in southern New Mexico. (KTSM)

STORAGE: California researchers find compressed air energy storage is cost-competitive and feasible for backing up wind and solar power, but is constrained by availability of suitable geography. (PV Magazine) 

DIVESTMENT: Oregon legislation that would accelerate state agencies’ divestment from fossil fuel companies dies in committee. (KPVI)

CLEAN ENERGY: Arizona regulators investigate a Phoenix clean energy startup for allegedly misleading investors about its “fusion” technology. (AZInno, subscription)

More than 30 utilities, power generators and other entities agree to participate in the first phase of Southwest Power Pool’s regional market. (Utility Dive)
Avangrid joins the Western Energy Imbalance Market as its first generation-only entity. (news release)

Salt Lake City, Utah’s city council requires 20% of new multi-family buildings’ parking spaces to be equipped for electric vehicle charging. (KSL)
A Colorado clean energy nonprofit offers electric bicycles to income-qualified residents at highly discounted prices. (Post-Independent)

COMMENTARY: A former U.S. Transportation Secretary urges the federal government to fund California high-speed rail at the same level it pays for interstate highways. (CalMatters)

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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.