HYDROPOWER: Biden administration officials call for the removal of four hydroelectricity dams on the Lower Snake River in Washington state to aid salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. (Idaho Statesman)

ALSO: A study finds Colorado utilities will realize greater benefits from joining a regional transmission organization as drought diminishes hydropower output. (Big Pivots)

TRANSITION:
• The operator of a wind turbine factory in Colorado — the world’s largest — plans to expand the facility and triple the current workforce to 1,100 employees. (Pueblo Chieftain)
The closure of the San Juan coal plant in northwest New Mexico wipes out hundreds of jobs and diminishes property tax revenues to a school district that serves a portion of the Navajo Nation. (Associated Press)

ENERGY JUSTICE:
After nearly four decades without electricity, a Navajo community in Utah is connected to the grid. (Colorado Sun)
Census data show nearly one-fifth of households in the San Francisco metro area have been unable to pay one or more power bills since the beginning of the pandemic. (KGO)

OIL & GAS:
Hawaii grows more reliant on foreign oil for power production after its only coal plant shuts down and inflation and supply chain constraints continue to delay new renewable energy projects. (Courthouse News)
A freight train derails near Bridger, Montana, spilling 31,000 gallons of gasoline. (Billings Gazette)
• Federal regulators permit the operator of a pipeline that spilled 25,000 gallons of crude oil off southern California’s coast last year to repair the line with the aim of bringing it back into service. (Los Angeles Times)
Climate change-induced permafrost thaw in Alaska is damaging oil and gas infrastructure and opening pathways for underground methane to migrate to the surface. (Grist) 

TRANSPORTATION: California Gov. Gavin Newsom allows refineries to sell a dirtier winter gasoline blend a month ahead of schedule in a bid to ease rising fuel prices. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIFICATION: Santa Monica, California’s city council adopts codes mandating new buildings be all-electric and be equipped with electric vehicle chargers. (Santa Monica Daily Press)

SOLAR:
California passes a law requiring cities and counties to adopt automated permitting systems to expedite residential solar approvals. (PV Magazine)
A developer begins construction on a 1.4 MW solar parking canopy at a California office park. (news release)

GEOTHERMAL: A federally funded energy research facility in Utah uses hydraulic fracturing on hot underground rocks to facilitate enhanced geothermal power production. (Salt Lake Tribune)

BIOFUELS: A California city hires a developer to install a landfill-gas fueled linear generator to produce power for on-site use or export to the grid. (Waste360)

COMMENTARY: A California environmental advocate says the state’s reliance on carbon capture to cut greenhouse gas emissions risks undoing an otherwise strong climate package in “favor of Big Oil’s profits.”(San Francisco Chronicle)

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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.