UTILITIES: A California regulatory judge preliminarily rejects Sunnova Energy’s proposal to establish a micro-utility to power residential communities with microgrids — a plan that could erode major utility monopolies in the state. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
Pacific Gas & Electric pleads not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the deadly 2020 Zogg Fire allegedly sparked by the utility’s equipment. (KCRA)
Xcel Energy says Colorado customers’ electricity and natural gas rates will decrease this spring due to falling fuel prices. (Denver Gazette) 

TRANSPORTATION: Utah advocates push back on a proposed bill that would lower gasoline taxes and add a tax on electric vehicles, saying it will perpetuate state air quality problems. (Salt Lake Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico lawmakers propose a bill that would increase tax incentives for oil and gas operators installing pollution-control devices on their facilities. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Montana and fuel industry groups sue Portland, Oregon, over a ban on new fossil fuel storage facilities in the city, arguing the policy is discriminatory and will cause fuel shortages. (Reuters)
A California lawmaker introduces a bill that would halt offshore oil and gas drilling on existing state land leases. (news release)

SOLAR:
Colorado regulators consider requiring Xcel Energy to refund homeowners’ solar grid connection fees after the utility comes under attack for severe backlogs. (Colorado Sun)
The U.S. Energy Department awards University of Arizona researchers $1.2 million to study crop production and livestock grazing in existing commercial solar installations. (news release)
Arizona utility Salt River Project donates parking lot solar canopies to Phoenix-area nonprofits. (news release)

WIND: Idaho’s top elected officials express concerns with and opposition to a 400-turbine wind power facility proposed for the southern part of the state. (Idaho Mountain Express)

CLIMATE: New Mexico lawmakers consider a bill that would let voters decide whether to include the right to a clean environment and stable climate in the state’s constitution. (KRQE)

COAL:
Wyoming lawmakers pass legislation allowing the governor to spend up to $1.2 million to sue states or agencies over regulations that could harm the state’s coal industry. (Casper Star-Tribune)  
Peabody Energy officials say railroad-related bottlenecks reduced its Powder River Basin mines’ coal production by 1.1 million tons last quarter, but they still made $68.2 million in profit. (Cowboy State Daily)

COMMENTARY:
A California policy advisor says Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to slash public transit funding would imperil state climate goals. (CalMatters)  
Colorado petroleum engineering professors say accurately measuring methane emissions is critical to regulating and reducing pollution from oil and gas facilities. (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.