Editor’s note: A ConocoPhillips drilling operation in Alaska led to a 7.2 million-cubic-feet methane leak. Yesterday’s digest misstated the size of the leak.

UTILITIES: A Colorado judge allows Xcel Energy to recover $509 million from ratepayers to pay for high natural gas costs during the February 2021 cold snap, even though the utility failed to warn customers of the price hike. (Colorado Sun)  

ALSO:
A California utility tells regulators its equipment may have sparked a fire that burned at least 20 homes in a coastal community. (Associated Press)   
Southern California Edison pauses a transmission line construction project to allow a city in its path to study the feasibility of burying the line. (Press-Enterprise)

OIL & GAS: ExxonMobil asks a federal court to overturn a California county’s denial of a temporary permit for trucking oil from offshore rigs. (Santa Ynez Valley News)

EQUITY: California researchers find that decarbonizing transportation, buildings and power generation would reduce racial disparities in air pollution exposure. (news release)

HYDROGEN: An Australian company considers developing a green hydrogen production facility in Washington state that would employ workers from the retiring Centralia coal plant. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• An Oregon land use board orders a developer to revise its wildlife impact mitigation plan before doubling the size of an existing solar facility. (Capital Press)
A renewable energy developer proposes building a 400 MW solar facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (Rio Rancho Observer)
A data center company agrees to purchase power from a 130 MW solar facility under development in Kern County, California. (news release)

WIND: California commercial fishermen express concern about proposed central coast offshore wind power development’s environmental impacts. (Santa Barbara Independent)

STORAGE: Hawaii energy officials say utility-scale and distributed storage will help maintain grid reliability when a 180 MW coal plant closes later this year. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION:
Hawaii electric vehicle advocates say building regulations and a lengthy charging infrastructure permitting process have slowed the state’s EV adoption rate. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
California considers shifting its electric vehicle incentive program’s focus to helping lower-income buyers by offering larger rebates and prepaid EV charging cards. (Spectrum News 1)
More than 3,000 people apply for Denver, Colorado’s electric bike rebates. (Colorado Sun)  

LITHIUM: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers produce magnets that can separate lithium from water, potentially allowing for commercial extraction of the mineral from industrial wastewater. (Inside Climate News)

BIOFUELS:
• Washington state researchers say an experimental plant-based jet fuel could increase engine performance while dispensing with conventional fuels’ pollution-causing compounds. (Biofuels Digest)  
• Phillips 66 decides to move forward with its plan to convert a Bay Area petroleum refinery into a biodiesel production facility. (Biofuels Digest)

CLIMATE: Arizona utilities and a university team up to create a center aimed at making the state’s economy carbon neutral. (Daily Independent)

NUCLEAR: Idaho and Utah researchers work to develop a commercially feasible method of recycling advanced nuclear reactor spent fuel. (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.