COAL: A federal court declares two newly-passed Montana laws aimed at stopping the Colstrip power plant from closing unconstitutional, clearing the way for the majority owners to proceed with retirement plans. (Billings Gazette)

Federal officials say it may be weeks or longer before a fire that has been burning since Sept. 20 in Utah’s most productive coal mine is extinguished and production resumes. (Salt Lake Tribune)  • A New Mexico city drops a lawsuit in favor of an arbitration process aimed at acquiring the recently retired San Juan coal plant so it can reopen it and eventually install carbon capture. (Farmington Daily Times)

• California energy analysts call on the state and petroleum refineries to create a gasoline reserve and temporarily relax fuel regulations to buffer against price shocks. (Los Angeles Times)
A Los Angeles committee recommends the city council adopt a proposed ordinance that would ban new oil and gas drilling and phase out existing operations within 20 years. (Los Angeles Daily News)
California officials contain an oil sheen in a channel near the site of last year’s offshore pipeline spill, but say it hasn’t seeped into the ecologically sensitive Talbert Marsh. (Los Angeles Times)
A nonprofit that plugs orphaned oil and gas wells across the nation begins its first project in Washington state. (Peninsula Daily News)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy officials say the utility foresees no power supply shortages for its eastern New Mexico service areas like those predicted for other parts of the state. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

Tribal nations develop utility-scale and residential solar projects to escape energy poverty and regain control over energy decisions and land stewardship. (Canary Media)
Southwestern Colorado residents worry a proposed 150 MW solar-plus-storage project will affect wildlife migration. (Durango Herald)
A developer proposes a 140 MW solar facility with 70 MW battery storage on private agricultural land in western Colorado. (Montrose Daily Press)
Developers break ground on a utility-scale solar-plus-storage facility in Oahu, Hawaii. (Hawaii News Now) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ride-hailing company Lyft has spent $45.3 million in support of a California ballot measure that would tax the rich to pay for electric vehicle incentives, while wealthy Bay Area residents fund the opposition. (San Francisco Chronicle)

LITHIUM: Leaders and activists from the Salton Sea region of southern California work to ensure proposed lithium projects adhere to high environmental standards and benefit local communities. (Desert 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.