ELECTRIFICATION: Santa Cruz, California, suspends its natural gas hookup ban after determining it was too similar to Berkeley’s court-overturned ordinance to survive legal challenges. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

The California plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing Delta Air Lines of misleading customers with its carbon neutrality claims say they aim to set a precedent with the action. (Los Angeles Times)
Climate advocates say an Alaska plan to lease state forests to produce carbon offsets without reducing logging is fraudulent since it wouldn’t reduce emissions. (New Republic)

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Xcel Energy brings a 248 MW solar-plus-storage installation online in southern Colorado. (KRDO)
A developer proposes a 125 MW solar installation on state land in southern New Mexico. (Solar Power World)

OIL & GAS: A California county draws criticism from environmentalists after approving ExxonMobil’s request to take ownership of a pipeline that spilled more than 120,000 gallons of oil in 2015. (KEYT)  

A developer brings a 137 MW battery storage system online in Fresno County, California, with a co-located 150 MW solar installation expected to be completed in August. (Solar Power World)
A California luxury hotel installs a 1.4 MWh ice-based thermal energy storage system. (CleanTechnica)
California researchers suggest sending electricity from battery-powered train locomotives back to the grid to respond to energy demand spikes. (Utility Dive) 

MICROGRIDS: A California water conservation project plans to replace diesel generators with microgrids powered by solar, battery and combined heat and power generation systems. (PV Magazine) 

UTILITIES: Hawaii Gas union workers end a two-week strike after approving a three-year contract. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)  

TRANSPORTATION: Las Vegas, Nevada’s planning commission approves a proposal from Elon Musk’s company to expand its Vegas Loop underground transportation system. (Las Vegas Sun)

CRITICAL MINERALS: The operators of a California rare earth element mine plan to begin processing the materials used in electric vehicles and other clean energy applications. (Grist)

California transit agencies use hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses to meet state zero-emission requirements ahead of deadlines. (S&P Global)
A California city plans to replace diesel generators with hydrogen fuel cells to provide backup power during outages. (Hydrogen Fuel News)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. Agriculture Department invests $43 million in wood energy and biomass power projects across the U.S., including several in Western states.

COAL: Federal officials work to spread awareness of black lung disease among current and former Wyoming coal miners. (Wyoming Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Seattle seeks artists to create design elements for electric vehicle charging stations around the city. (GeekWire)

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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.