UTILITIES: The U.S. Forest Service confiscates a Pacific Gas & Electric power pole as it launches a criminal probe into the utility equipment’s potential role in igniting this summer’s deadly Mosquito Fire in northern California. (East Bay Times)

ALSO: Critics urge California’s governor to veto a bill that would streamline undergrounding power lines, saying it would be too expensive and undercut existing oversight. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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GRID: California researchers work to develop a decentralized “smart grid” to increase resilience by optimizing power distribution as more intermittent renewables come online and power demand increases. (Courthouse News)

A German company proposes constructing a 150 MW solar facility on 875 acres of private land in southern Wyoming. (Cowboy State Daily)
• A study finds a report by Idaho Power used to justify cutting compensation for residential solar undervalues solar energy. (news release)

Public Service Company of New Mexico will cease operations at the San Juan coal plant this week as Enchant Energy continues its bid to keep the facility running with carbon capture. (Albuquerque Journal)
Enchant Energy was among companies that successfully pushed the U.S. Senate to remove “guardrail” conditions on carbon capture tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act. (Energy and Policy Institute)
Arizona regulators plan a public hearing next month on a utility’s proposal to continue running a coal fired power plant in the northeastern part of the state. (news release) 

OIL & GAS: Dozens of small oil and gas operators in Colorado were put out of business and more than 200 low-producing wells orphaned when a pipeline company shut down a gathering system for safety reasons in 2018. (Colorado Sun) 

TRANSPORTATION: Oregon lawmakers confirm the appointment of a retiring state senator to its transportation commission despite environmental groups’ concerns that he will be too car-friendly. (OPB)

HYDROGEN: A New Mexico company plans to deploy six of its compact mobile hydrogen generators in five states next year. (Albuquerque Journal) 

STORAGE: A California municipal utility’s contract for an Oregon company’s 200 MW iron flow battery installation is expected to kickstart the nascent flow battery storage industry. (Canary Media)

HYDROPOWER: PacifiCorp and Wyoming leaders call on federal regulators to streamline permitting for pumped hydropower storage projects. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COMMENTARY: An energy policy analyst says West Coast offshore wind development can bypass land-use battles while creating jobs and generating power that pairs well with the region’s solar resources. (Forbes)

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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.