UTILITIES: Colorado investigators find an Xcel Energy power line sparked one of two blazes that merged to form the 2021 Marshall Fire near Boulder, but say they will not file criminal charges; the utility disputes the findings. (Colorado Sun)

A peer-reviewed study finds 25% of the nation’s public utilities commissioners previously worked in the utility or fossil fuel industry, compared to 19% with an environmental background. (Los Angeles Times)
Southern Nevada groups criticize NV Energy’s natural disaster plan, saying it forces them to subsidize work in the more wildfire-prone northern part of the state. (Nevada Current) 

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CLIMATE: Washington state climate advocates say a new carbon cap-and-invest program is working as intended, but some industry groups blame it for driving up gasoline prices. (E&E News)

A Latina advocate who grew up near Colorado’s only oil refinery helps lead the fight to rein in the facility’s pollution. (Vogue)
The Biden administration awards federal land agencies $64 million for plugging and cleaning up orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells, including 19 facilities in Western states. (S&P Global)

Unions laud a $30 million federal grant to electrify tractors at a southern California shipping port and its condition that equipment be operated by humans, not robots. (Reuters)
Colorado’s building industry says a state requirement that new homes be pre-wired for solar panels and electric vehicle chargers will drive up housing costs even though it’s far cheaper than retrofitting an existing structure. (PV Magazine)

Colorado plans to launch one of the nation’s largest statewide e-bike incentive programs in August, offering income-based rebates of $500 to $1,100 against purchases. (CPR)
Pasadena, California, plans to launch an e-bike rebate pilot program in July. (news release)
A logistics company opens a 32-vehicle electric semi-truck charging depot in southern California. (KABC)

Developers unveil plans for a 4 MW community “agrisolar” project in Oregon that would integrate power generation with beekeeping, grazing and crop production. (news release)    
Some southwestern Colorado residents push back on utility-scale solar developments, saying they affect views, wildlife and take land out of agriculture. (Daily Yonder)     

BATTERIES: Some residents of a central California city push back against a proposed 600 MW battery energy storage facility, claiming with little evidence that it poses a fire risk, and stating a desire to see the property go to a non-industrial use. (SFGate)

A California city plans to use wastewater to produce methane fuel for its recycling and trash truck fleet. (CompressorTech)
A peer-reviewed study finds E15 ethanol blend’s tailpipe and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are lower than from California’s regular reformulated gasoline. (Biofuels Digest)

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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.