UTILITIES: A California county’s prosecutor dismisses criminal charges against Pacific Gas & Electric after the utility agrees to pay $50 million for its role in sparking the fatal 2020 Zogg Fire in northern California. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
Increasing utility rates have caused the average amount of debt customers owe to Xcel Energy to double since 2019. (CPR)
NV Energy pushes back on legislation aimed at expanding in-state power production, saying it doesn’t go far enough to fast-track renewable energy permitting. (Reno Gazette-Journal) 
Pacific Power submits a plan to comply with a new Oregon law by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from electricity sold to customers by 2040. (KTVZ)


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CLEAN ENERGY: California Gov. Gavin Newsom floats a plan for the state,  instead of utilities, to purchase large amounts of geothermal and offshore wind power to encourage clean energy development and reduce reliance on natural gas. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
California lawmakers advance a bill that would require schools to cool down outside play areas by planting trees and replacing heat-absorbing asphalt surfaces with grass or gardens. (Associated Press)
A walkout by Oregon Republican lawmakers threatens bills aimed at building climate resilience along with up to $250 million in federal funding the legislation would bring in. (KGW8)
• Western wildfires are bringing unhealthy air conditions to small cities hundreds of miles away that don’t have enough people or cars to generate much smog on their own. (The Hill)
A judge narrows the scope of a youth climate change lawsuit against Montana after lawmakers revoke the state’s energy policy, one of the targets of the suit. (Associated Press)
Phoenix, Arizona, officials seek public input on ways to beef up its climate action plan. (Cronkite News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Wyoming transportation officials pause a federally funded electric vehicle charging buildout plan over concerns the state would be liable for abandoned stations. (Cowboy State Daily)
A California recreational vehicle manufacturer plans to establish a facility in Colorado to produce its solar- and battery-powered travel trailer. (Daily Camera)

EFFICIENCY: California’s energy commission sets a goal of making up to 7,000 MW of electricity available through demand response and load shifting programs. (news release) 

SOLAR: A southern California city council pushes back on a proposed 175 MW solar installation over concerns about aesthetic impacts. (Hi-Desert Star)

NUCLEAR: A Washington startup receives $5 million in federal funding to research and develop fusion power. (GeekWire)

CRITICAL MINERALS: The U.S. Forest Service approves a mining company’s proposal to conduct exploratory surveys for rare earth elements in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. (Montana Public Radio)

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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.