UTILITIES: A state investigation finds Public Service Company of New Mexico’s equipment sparked an April fire that destroyed 200 homes and killed two people. (Albuquerque Journal)

OIL & GAS:
The federal Bureau of Land Management orders an oil and gas company to plug and abandon its idle wells in a national monument in California, settling an environmental group’s lawsuit. (Tribune)
Federal analysts predict Permian Basin oil production will rise to a new all-time high of 5.4 million barrels per day in September. (Reuters) 

WIND: A southern Idaho county passes a resolution opposing a 400-turbine wind power facility proposed for public lands, saying it would disturb the area’s rural character. (Times-News) 

CLEAN ENERGY: California researchers find development constraints tend to push renewable energy projects into low-income and rural areas where they could undermine energy justice. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: A Colorado company proposes constructing an 80 MW solar project in the western part of the state that would include 1,000 sheep grazing among the panels; the county previously rejected the project over the loss of agricultural land. (Colorado Sun) 

GRID:
• Triple-digit temperatures forecast for California and western Washington state this week are expected to strain power grids and cause electricity prices to climb. (Bloomberg)
Climate change-exacerbated drought and rising temperatures are straining the Western grid by diminishing hydropower output and increasing electricity demand. (Vox)
Tesla partners with Southern California Edison to expand its virtual power plant program that compensates battery owners for sending electricity back to the grid. (Electrek)

COAL:
Wyoming officials hope subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act will boost the state’s efforts to develop carbon capture and sequestration technology that could prolong the life of coal power plants. (Casper Star-Tribune)
An Arizona utility considers repurposing coal power plants it plans to retire as nuclear reactors or hydrogen production facilities. (RTO Insider, subscription) 
Wyoming conservationists say a reinstated ban on federal coal leasing will have little effect in the state because the declining industry is not pursuing new leases. (Wyoming Public Radio)

TRANSPORTATION:
An Australian company plans to begin producing cobalt — used in lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries — at its mine in Idaho by the end of the year. (Popular Science)
The Federal Transit Administration awards a Los Angeles transportation authority $104 million to purchase 160 battery-electric buses, part of $1.6 billion spent nationwide on clean bus deployment. (news release)
The U.S. Transportation Department awards a southern Nevada transit agency $6.7 million to purchase hydrogen fuel cell buses. (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.