NUCLEAR: Federal regulators reject Pacific Gas & Electric’s request to extend the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant’s operating license, meaning the utility must start the relicensing application process from scratch. (Power)

New Mexico lawmakers propose a bill that would authorize city, county or Indigenous governments to purchase or generate renewable energy to sell to constituents. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Hawaiian Electric seeks proposals for renewable energy projects, including firm generation, on Oahu and Maui. (Pacific Inno)

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Los Angeles County, California, expands a city-wide oil and gas drilling ban implemented last month and begins developing a strategy to phase out existing production throughout the county. (Bloomberg)
 California’s U.S. senators introduce a bill that would permanently ban offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters along the West Coast. (news release)
A New Mexico Republican lawmaker’s bill that would classify natural gas generation as renewable energy dies in committee. (NM Political Report)  
An environmental group sues the U.S. EPA to force the agency to crack down on oil and gas-related ozone pollution in Colorado. (news release) 

SOLAR: An Arizona man pleads guilty to fraudulently bilking the federal government out of more than $50 million in solar tax refunds. (news release) 

GEOTHERMAL: The developer of a proposal to tap a volcano for geothermal power in Alaska plans to break ground this summer if it can secure funding. (KUCB)  

A Texas company plans to establish a solar-powered, 20,000-ton-per-year green hydrogen production facility in Lancaster, California. (Spectrum News 1)   
A California company prepares to test fly its prototype hydrogen-fueled turboprop plane in Washington state. (GeekWire)

Utah lawmakers propose appropriating $2 million to fund a lawsuit attempting to block the U.S. EPA from requiring coal power plants to install emission-reduction equipment or face early retirement. (Salt Lake Tribune, subscription)   
Montana lawmakers propose a bill that would fund local infrastructure projects with loans backed by coal severance tax revenues. (Montana Public Radio)
Union Pacific railroad boosts hiring to support growing coal demand amid rising natural gas prices. (S&P Global) 

A California startup seeks funding to mass produce its solar-equipped electric vehicle with a 400-mile range. (Business Insider)
A Montana lawmaker introduces a bill that would allow e-bikes to travel anywhere regular bicycles are permitted but let local jurisdictions restrict them from multi-use paths. (Missoulian)

BATTERIES: A lithium-ion battery cell development company plans to establish a manufacturing facility in California’s Imperial Valley capable of producing 650,000 EV batteries annually. (news release)

UTILITIES: San Diego Gas & Electric begins the second phase of its utility line undergrounding project in southern California. (Del Mar Times)

CARBON CAPTURE: Washington state researchers develop a more affordable way to capture carbon and convert it into methanol, a fuel, solvent and feedstock for plastics. (news release)

COMMENTARY: A California writer and activist says power outages like those that rippled across the state this winter are a matter of life and death for people who rely on electric medical devices. (High Country News)

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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.