COAL: A judge pauses new Montana laws aimed at blocking challenges to coal mine permits to allow federal agencies to determine whether the state legislature is conducting oversight consistent with federal laws. (Montana Standard)

ALSO: New Mexico and Nevada tribal residents were among those pleading with U.S. EPA officials at a federal hearing to further expand the agency’s proposed coal ash storage rules and step up enforcement of existing regulations. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
Alaska regulators propose fining ConocoPhillips $914,000 for numerous violations associated with a natural gas leak at one of its North Slope fields last year. (Anchorage Daily News)  
Alaska’s Supreme Court considers a city’s case accusing state regulators of violating citizens’ rights by allowing Hilcorp to keep its financial information secret after acquiring BP’s assets in 2020. (KTOO)
• A Colorado oil refinery reports discharging water tainted with PFAS “forever chemicals” into a Denver-area creek. (Colorado Sun) 

SOLAR:
Energy companies bid a record-breaking $105.2 million for four utility-scale solar leases on 23,675 acres of federal land in Nevada. (news release)
California lawmakers pass budget legislation protecting the Western Joshua tree while also streamlining clean energy permitting. (Desert Sun)  

WIND: Opponents of a proposed wind power facility in northern California criticize a new law that will allow state regulators to override prior county permit denials and approve the project. (Redding Record Searchlight) 

TRANSMISSION: A Colorado nonprofit pushes back on a municipal utility’s plans to build a high-voltage transmission line across the organization’s campus.  
(Colorado Springs Indy)

UTILITIES:
Hawaii utility regulators prepare to consider energy equity issues, such as affordability and clean energy access, in the energy infrastructure siting process. (Utility Dive)
Colorado lawmakers and local officials urge Xcel Energy to lessen its reliance on natural gas power plants while developing clean energy resources. (Colorado Newsline)
Xcel Energy steps up efforts to survey for wildfire risk along Colorado power lines after investigators blamed the utility for sparking the 2021 Marshall Fire. (Colorado Sun)   
A Utah rural electric cooperative believes the accelerated retirement of coal power plants will trigger a “U.S. energy crisis.” (Deseret News)

TRANSPORTATION: A California high-speed historic rail station restoration and development project receives $20 million in federal funds. (Business Journal)

ELECTRIFICATION:
Colorado analysts warn of impending electrical contractor shortages as the state pushes electrification of transportation, buildings and industry. (Colorado Sun)
A southern California city suspends its building electrification ordinance until a court case surrounding Berkeley’s natural gas hookup ban is resolved. (Voice of San Diego)

URANIUM: A firm announces plans to reopen one of its idled uranium and vanadium mines in southern Utah. (news release)

COMMENTARY: A California advocate urges state lawmakers to balance the budget by ending oil industry subsidies, not by cutting climate program funding. (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.