UTILITIES: A federal government lawsuit accuses Southern California Edison of failing to prevent trees from contacting utility lines and sparking the 2020 Bobcat Fire. (Los Angeles Times) 

ALSO: U.S. lawmakers probe Hawaiian Electric’s fire prevention efforts leading up to last month’s deadly Maui blazes. (The Hill)

SOLAR: California advocates call on regulators to lock in a proposed community solar payment structure before utilities derail it, saying the new tariff would revive the state’s flagging community solar market. (Canary Media)

GRID: Pattern Energy breaks ground on the $10 billion SunZia transmission project being built to carry up to 3,500 MW of wind power from New Mexico to urban Arizona and California. (Associated Press)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A nonprofit launches in Washington state aimed at establishing the Tri-Cities region as a clean energy research and development hub. (Tri-City Herald)  
Colorado officials say the federal Inflation Reduction Act has spurred $400 million in clean energy investments and created at least 850 jobs in the state. (KUNC)

OIL & GAS:
Southern California regulators vote to strengthen smog-forming pollution rules for tanks at oil and gas refineries and other facilities. (Sacramento Bee)
ConocoPhillips says a pending court ruling on the fate of its federal permits could make or break the controversial Willow oil and gas project in Alaska. (Alaska Beacon)
An industry-commissioned study finds the oil and gas sector has an oversized economic impact in Alaska, supporting about 16% of the state’s jobs. (Alaska Beacon)
Arctic advocates say increasing Russian oil shipments through the Bering Strait threaten Alaska villages, coastlines and fisheries. (Anchorage Daily News)
• California lawmakers vote to endorse an international treaty aimed at ending oil and gas exploration and phasing out existing production. (Bakersfield Californian) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle users say Alaska’s charging network still lags behind other states after an agency recently added nine chargers along highways. (Anchorage Daily News, subscription) 

TRANSPORTATION: California’s rail agency energizes a second substation on its San Francisco-San Jose main line as part of a plan to launch overhead-electric operations next year. (Trains) 

GEOTHERMAL:
A central Colorado company looks to develop the state’s first geothermal power plant, but some residents worry it could harm groundwater and property values. (Colorado Sun)
Colorado plans to launch a geothermal grant program this fall for residential heating and cooling systems and grid-scale power generation projects. (news release)

COMMENTARY: A California energy analyst says building out clean energy transmission could help the state reduce its reliance on natural gas generation and leak-prone storage facilities. (CalMatters)

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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.