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SOLAR: California regulators slash compensation rates for rooftop solar generation, saying higher rates disproportionately benefited the wealthy, while industry leaders contend the change will slow solar adoption. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO: A California collaboration launches a research facility aimed at developing methods of combining utility-scale solar with land restoration and pollinator cultivation. (news release)

CLIMATE: California regulators approve an ambitious climate plan aimed at reaching carbon neutrality by 2045 via electric vehicle adoption, building electrification and carbon capture. (CNN)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico Indigenous advocates urge federal regulators to reject a proposed oil and gas “man camp” in the Greater Chaco Region, citing the increased sexual violence that often accompanies the facilities. (KUNM)
An energy think tank predicts the U.S. EPA’s proposed oil and gas facility methane rules will yield greater emissions reductions and financial benefits than the agency’s estimates. (Santa Fe New Mexican) 
Falling oil prices threaten to result in lower than expected revenues for Alaska schools, sparking concerns of budget shortfalls. (KCAW)

GRID:
A Colorado engineering professor calls for power grid equipment to be redesigned to better withstand sabotage and extreme weather after a rash of deliberate attacks on substations nationwide. (Denver7)  
Heavy snows in western Arizona topple utility lines, leaving hundreds without power. (The Miner)

WIND: A remote Alaska island community considers developing a wind power project even as it looks into geothermal power from a volcano. (KUCB) 

NATURAL GAS: A Washington state natural gas plant’s owner sues the state over a 2021 climate law putting a price on pollution, saying it gives regulated utilities an unfair advantage. (Seattle Times)

ELECTRIFICATION: A 59-unit all-electric, affordable apartment complex with rooftop photovoltaics and solar water heating opens in Palo Alto, California.  (Affordable Housing Finance)

TRANSPORTATION:
Montana lawmakers propose an electric vehicle user fee to help fund road upkeep and construction. (Land Line)
A multi-agency study finds a need for a public transit line between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and northern Colorado. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)  

BATTERIES: A California startup develops a method of isolating and controlling battery pack cells to prevent fires and prolong batteries’ lives. (Canary Media)

BIOFUELS: California’s wildfire agency awards Placer County $2 million to develop a biomass power facility fueled by material from forest thinning projects. (news release)

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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.