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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WIND: U.S. Interior Department officials say they plan to hold the first California offshore wind lease sale later this year, auctioning off a central coast and north coast area together. (Bloomberg)

An energy economist working with federal energy regulators says the contract exit fee Tri-State Generation & Transmission is seeking from a Colorado electric cooperative is ten times higher than it should be. (Colorado Sun)
A Montana county rejects residents’ bid to repeal a floodplain permit for NorthWestern Energy to build a natural gas pipeline under the Yellowstone River. (KTVQ)

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, urges the Biden administration to use the Ukraine crisis as an opportunity to move away from all fossil fuels, not just those imported from Russia. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
U.S. House Republicans introduce a flurry of bills aimed at expediting oil and gas development on federal lands. (E&E News, subscription)
A congressional committee cancels a hearing on the oil and gas industry’s role in rising gasoline prices after company executives refuse to attend. (Axios)  

A Navajo Nation community plans to use a federal clean energy grant to construct a solar-powered microgrid with battery storage to provide electricity to 24 homes. (Navajo-Hopi Observer)
A Colorado county considers building a solar-powered microgrid to keep critical services functioning during power outages. (Aspen Times)
Colorado communities launch a solar cooperative to purchase individual rooftop systems at a discounted group price. (news release)

Shipping bottlenecks, increasing demand for lithium and permitting and interconnection delays hamper California’s efforts to deploy grid-scale battery storage. (E&E News)   
San Diego Gas & Electric brings a 20 MW battery storage installation online as part of the state grid operator’s goal of 2,000 MW of storage by summer. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

HYDROGEN: California analysts find blending hydrogen with natural gas to heat buildings or fuel power plants is not cost-effective, may be unsafe and will not yield many environmental benefits. (Canary Media)

NUCLEAR: A government oversight official finds federal regulators were negligent when inspecting equipment that failed at California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in 2020, shutting a reactor down for eight days. (Santa Barbara Independent)  

HYDROPOWER: Last year’s drought caused California’s hydroelectricity generation to drop to 48% of the 10-year average, while the Pacific Northwest’s output was 14% below average. (Energy Information Administration)

TRANSPORTATION: California energy experts say a state plan to offer $400 direct payments to drivers is preferable to suspending the fuel tax because it doesn’t lower pump prices. (CalMatters)

CARBON CAPTURE: The U.S. Energy Department awards technical assistance grants to oil-rich California communities to develop a microgrid and research carbon capture. (Bakersfield Californian)

CLIMATE: Colorado State University students urge the institution to divest from fossil fuel companies and the county to deny pending oil and gas permits. (Loveland Reporter-Herald) 

COMMENTARY: Climate advocates urge federal and state lawmakers to follow Colorado’s lead on assessing and limiting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects. (CAP)

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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.