OIL & GAS: The U.S. EPA begins helicopter searches for large sources of methane and smog-forming compounds in the Permian Basin, saying violations will be met with “significant penalties.” (E&E News)

ALSO: The Biden administration remains silent on conservationists’ requests to extend the comment period on ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope. (Grist)

NATURAL GAS: California officials vote to waive water pollution fines for an aging coastal natural gas power plant that has remained open past its planned retirement date to avoid power outages. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• Nevada’s ratepayer advocate and a Las Vegas resort urge federal regulators to reject NV Energy’s request for incentives to build the $2.5 billion Greenlink transmission project. (Utility Dive)
Pacific Gas & Electric officials tell California regulators the utility is working to limit the number of customers impacted when it initiates planned power outages aimed at reducing the risk of equipment-sparked wildfires. (Courthouse News)

GRID: A California nonprofit begins restoring dilapidated homes that will be sold to low-income families and equipped with solar and batteries become part of a virtual power plant. (Grist)

STORAGE: The developer of a 2.1 GWh, three-site battery storage project in southern California says it expects to bring the facilities online by the end of this year. (Energy Storage News) 

TRANSPORTATION: California advocates say incentive programs helping low-income residents purchase electric vehicles are plagued by inadequate funding, long waits and rising car prices. (CalMatters)

COAL: Powder River Basin mines are on pace to produce about the same amount of coal as last year, despite rail capacity constraints. (Gillette News-Record) 

CRYPTOCURRENCY: An Idaho startup says a utility’s higher rates for cryptocurrency miners hurt its proposal to use waste heat from mining equipment to grow crops in a greenhouse. (Inside Climate News)

WIND: California’s energy commission increases its offshore wind goal from 10-15 GW by 2045 to deploying 25 GW by then. (Times-Standard) 

SOLAR:
The U.S. Energy Department launches a Colorado-based consortium working to make cadmium telluride solar cells less expensive and more efficient. (news release)
A 104 MW solar installation in Utah begins supplying power to a Meta data center. (ReNews)

CLIMATE:
Victims of last December’s Marshall Fire that destroyed 1,000 homes in Colorado call on the Biden administration to declare a climate emergency. (Colorado Newsline)
Arizona advocates urge Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to vote for a proposed $369 billion congressional climate bill. (Sierra)

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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.