NUCLEAR: Federal regulators certify Oregon startup NuScale’s small modular reactor design, letting the company move forward with installing the first-of-its-kind reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
An automotive dealers group says high fuel prices and easing range anxiety led to a surge in battery-powered electric vehicle sales in Colorado last year, where EVs made up 10.5% of new car registrations. (Denver Post)
• California data show 18.8% of the 1.8 million new cars sold in the state last year were electric vehicles. (news release)

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BATTERIES: An Arizona county calls on a proposed battery factory’s developers to disclose its potential environmental impacts on an area with a history of groundwater pollution. (Arizona Republic)  

ELECTRIFICATION: A California county offers residents up to $1,500 in rebates for replacing natural gas appliances with electric. (Patch) 

SOLAR:
California researchers find covering the state’s 4,000 miles of irrigation canals with solar panels could save 65 billion gallons of water annually through avoided evaporation. (Marketplace)
Washington state offers $35 million in grants to municipalities to install solar-plus-storage facilities at public buildings. (Columbian)
A Colorado lawmaker proposes creating a grant program that would fund agrivoltaic research and demonstration projects. (Colorado Sun)
A Colorado county sends a proposal for a controversial 1,900-acre solar development back to its developer because it lacks a water supply plan and has other deficiencies. (Durango Herald)

GRID: California grid operators propose tweaking day-ahead power operations to better account for net load variability and uncertainty. (Utility Dive)  

UTILITIES: El Paso Electric says in arguments to New Mexico’s Supreme Court that regulators “arbitrarily” blocked the utility from hiking rates to recover payroll and other costs. (NM Political Report)    

OIL & GAS:
Colorado regulators reject a violation-plagued oil and gas company’s bid to delay an assessment of its cleanup plan while it negotiates the sale of some of its assets. (Colorado Sun)
Colorado regulators seek public input on how to address the cumulative impact of oil and gas drilling. (Colorado Newsline)
• Malfunctions and a fire at an oil refinery in Colorado may have caused the facility to release illegally high levels of carcinogenic benzene into an adjacent waterway. (CPR)
Alaska officials expect state oil production to remain steady over the next decade and increase if the massive proposed Willow project comes online. (Alaska Beacon)  

POLITICS: A Western environmental group finds New Mexico voters favored conservation-minded candidates over oil and gas industry supporters in the state and national 2022 midterm elections. (Carlsbad Current-Argus) 

BIOFUELS: A remote Alaska Native community installs a biomass furnace to heat the village water system and public facilities while reducing its reliance on diesel. (Alaska Public Media)

COMMENTARY: A Colorado advocate calls on the U.S. EPA to strengthen and adopt draft methane emissions rules for oil and gas facilities to protect the climate and communities. (Durango Herald)

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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.