Western Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Jonathan Thompson.

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CLEAN ENERGY: The federal Bureau of Land Management says it’s on track to approve dozens of utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal power projects that will put it on pace to permit 25 GW of renewable power from public lands by 2025. (E&E News)    

SOLAR:
• A remote Alaska community builds a 225 kw solar installation with battery backup to reduce reliance on a diesel power plant. (Microgrid Knowledge
Some California environmentalists oppose large-scale solar development on public lands, saying they do more harm than good. (Coachella Valley Independent)
• The Bureau of Land Management leases 4,800 acres in western Utah to a company planning a 600 MW solar power facility. (Standard-Examiner)

OIL & GAS:
• The federal Bureau of Land Management withdraws six parcels from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale in Montana because they overlapped with a pronghorn migratory corridor. (KTVH)
• The U.S.’s Russian oil import ban pushes Alaska oil prices above the global benchmark, promising a windfall for state coffers. (Alaska Journal)
Hawaii health officials say levels of groundwater contamination stemming from leaks at a U.S. Navy fuel facility are decreasing. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
Navajo environmental advocates protest a plan by a tribal energy company to drill for helium on Navajo Nation lands. (Farmington Daily Times)
Climate scientists call on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ban oil and gas drilling in neighborhoods and phase out existing wells. (news release)     

UTILITIES:
• A Colorado free market advocate pushes a ballot measure that would require the state’s investor-owned utilities — namely Xcel Energy — to return at least 5% of their revenues to customers. (CPR)
Wyoming utility PacifiCorp seeks a $26 million rate increase to offset a predicted increase in wholesale electricity prices this summer due to diminished hydropower capacity. (WyoFile) 

POLLUTION: California cities have the highest concentrations of particulate matter and ozone pollution in the nation due to both oil and gas development and wildfire smoke, according to an American Lung Association report. (High Country News)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Climate advocates predict California’s proposed aggressive zero-emissions vehicle targets will become a model that other states will follow. (Utility Dive)
Battery producer LG purchases 650 acres near Phoenix, Arizona, where it plans to build an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant. (Phoenix Business Journal)
A New Mexico ski area becomes the first in the nation to deploy a fully electric slope-grooming vehicle. (news release) 

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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.