Western Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Jonathan Thompson.

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SOLAR: Colorado renewable energy officials say a federal probe of Asian solar imports is drying up equipment supplies, raising development prices and delaying projects. (Colorado Sun)

ALSO:
California engineers develop a solar cell that can generate some electricity at night. (NPR)
Renewable energy advocates say opposition from rural activist groups is the biggest barrier to developing new solar installations. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION:
Federal analysts find California motorists are using less gasoline to drive the same number of miles, possibly due to the state’s strong adoption of electric vehicles. (E&E News)
California’s energy commission offers up to $23 million to organizations to install 5,000 electric vehicle chargers in the southern part of the state. (news release)

UTILITIES: An Arizona utility seeks public comment on a controversial plan to build a high-voltage power line through central Tucson neighborhoods. (Arizona Daily Star)  

GRID:
California’s grid operator says high natural gas costs drove up fourth-quarter 2021 electricity prices 50% compared to the previous year. (RTO Insider, subscription)
A power outage temporarily strands eleven people on a California amusement park ride. (Associated Press)  

COAL:
A Colorado utility explores tapping methane emissions from an abandoned coal mine to generate power for its grid. (Sopris Sun)
Officials predict Montana’s nascent recreational marijuana industry will generate at least as much state tax revenue this year as coal mining. (Marijuana Moment)   

CLIMATE:
Washington state protects a 10,000 acre forest from logging so it can lease the trees to polluters as carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions. (Seattle Times)
Oregon climate experts say the state will not meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets without securing more funding and political support while also conserving forests as carbon sinks. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

EQUITY: Researchers find that while air pollution is decreasing nationally, it is increasing in Indigenous communities. (NM Political Report) 

WIND:
California officials allow assessments to move forward at a proposed federal wind development area off the state’s northern coast. (North Coast Journal) 
• The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management seeks public comment on a draft environmental assessment of proposed offshore wind leasing off central California’s coast. (news release) 

ELECTRIFICATION: Industry players and governments take sides as a legal challenge to Berkeley, California’s natural gas hookup ban heads to federal appeals court. (S&P Global)

NUCLEAR: Pacific Gas & Electric hires a contractor to defuel California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, diminishing hopes of the plant continuing to run after the planned 2025 retirement. (news release)

OIL & GAS: An Oregon university study finds state residents say they receive greater risks than benefits from proposed liquefied natural gas export terminals along their coast. (news release)

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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.