OIL & GAS: The U.S. EPA fines three oil and gas companies $9.25 million for allegedly violating federal air pollution laws at facilities in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico. (Colorado Sun)

ALSO: The American Lung Association attributes elevated ground-level ozone pollution in a New Mexico county to Permian Basin oil and gas development. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

RENEWABLES: Solar and wind generation exceeded total demand on California’s grid for a short period on April 16, sending net demand into negative territory and setting a record for megawatts exported. (PV Magazine)

• Solar developers report permitting delays for proposed projects on federal land even though the U.S. Interior Department pledged to streamline the process. (Reuters)     
• An energy analysis firm predicts California’s new net metering policy will slash demand for new rooftop solar systems, but will increase residential battery storage installations by as much as 800%. (Utility Dive)
An advocacy group finds covering California’s 66,000 warehouse and distribution center roofs with solar panels could generate enough electricity to power 5 million homes. (The Hill)
Arizona researchers use solar installations as nurseries to generate biological soil crusts — a fragile but essential piece of desert ecosystems. (news release)
A Montana city brings online a solar installation that provides power to a wastewater treatment plant. (Missoulian)
The U.S. Energy Department awards Colorado firms and institutions $9.5 million to develop new solar technologies. (news release)

CLIMATE: Oregon climate advocates worry state lawmakers’ proposal to increase criminal penalties for disrupting critical infrastructure could stifle environmental protests. (Grist)

• California officials say clean car sales in the state have surpassed the 1.5 million target for 2025 years ahead of schedule. (E&E News, subscription)
Food distributor Sysco begins constructing an 80-unit electric truck and trailer charging hub at its southern California facility. (Orange County Register)   
• Beleaguered Oregon electric vehicle manufacturer Arcimoto names a new executive team after announcing it was nearly out of money. (Oregonian)

TRANSPORTATION: Construction begins on the first phase of a multimodal highway project in Santa Cruz, California, that will include bus-on-shoulder facilities and bike lanes. (Mercury News)

BATTERIES: Washington state lawmakers pass a battery stewardship law aimed at encouraging recycling and safe disposal. (Crosscut)

BNSF Railway urges federal regulators to dismiss a Powder River Basin mining company’s complaint alleging the carrier failed to ship the obligated volume of coal. (Trains) 
Arizona utilities offer $1 million in grants to communities expected to be affected by coal power plant retirements in coming years. (Power Engineering)  
A Colorado municipal utility plans to demolish a defunct coal plant in the city’s downtown later this year. (CPR)

COMMENTARY: A former U.S. Interior Secretary urges the Supreme Court to take up Colorado governments’ climate-related lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, saying a string of separate state court rulings would result in chaos. (Bloomberg Law)

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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.