LITHIUM: A federal court rejects conservationists’ and tribes’ bid to block construction of the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada. (Associated Press)
OIL & GAS:
• Environmentalists are uninterested in a Biden administration proposal to approve the controversial Willow oil and gas project in Alaska while banning drilling in other parts of the state, according to inside sources. (Washington Post)
• Shipping companies accused of causing a 2021 oil spill off southern California’s coast agree to pay $97 million to settle a lawsuit with the pipeline operator. (Associated Press)
• Environmental advocates applaud and industry pans the U.S. EPA’s proposal to empower citizens to police oil and gas facilities for leaks. (E&E News)
• ExxonMobil acknowledges it violated New Mexico rules in February by failing to report a 529,000 cubic foot methane leak at one of its Permian Basin facilities. (Bloomberg)
• New Mexico environmentalists push back against a proposal to offer tax credits to oil and gas companies for installing emission-reducing units on stripper wells, saying industry shouldn’t be paid to comply with rules. (KRQE)
• Conservation groups call on the Biden administration to finalize oil and gas leasing reforms before this spring’s lease sales. (Wyoming Public Radio)
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NUCLEAR: A startup pulls its plans to build a small nuclear power plant demonstration project in Washington, saying the effort was moving too slowly. (Seattle Times)
• A ceiling collapses at a violation-plagued underground coal mine in Montana, injuring three workers. (Associated Press)
• A conservation group calls out Colorado for relying on coal-fired generation for 37% of its power, nearly twice the national average. (The Hill)
UTILITIES: Attorneys for victims of the Labor Day 2020 fires in Oregon say text messages between PacifiCorp employees show the utility knew early on it likely played a role in sparking the blazes. (OPB)
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Portland, Oregon’s city council votes to allow electric vehicle charger construction in public rights of way in an effort to increase EV access to renters and multi-family dwelling residents. (OPB)
• New Mexico lawmakers advance a bill that would require utilities to provide virtual net-metering compensation to low-income customers with shared solar. (NM Political Report)
• The federal Bureau of Land Management says it will not change its desert renewable energy plan as part of its proposal to expand solar development in Western states. (news release)
• An Oregon rancher partners with a developer on a proposal to combine a large-scale solar project with cattle ranching on the same land. (Blue Mountain Eagle)
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WIND: Washington state lawmakers advance a bill that would require wind turbine lights be turned off when no aircraft are nearby. (The Chronicle)
BIOFUELS: A California man pleads guilty to defrauding investors with a manure-to-methane biofuel scam aimed at collecting federal green energy tax credits. (ABC10)