UTILITIES: A judge orders NorthWestern Energy to halt construction on a natural gas power plant in Montana, saying regulators ignored environmental risks when permitting the facility in 2021. (Billings Gazette)

San Diego Gas & Electric seeks $100 million in federal funds for wildfire hardening projects along utility corridors on tribal lands in California. (news release)
 Pacific Gas & Electric upgrades a California natural gas pipeline to enable robotic in-line inspections. (news release)

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CLIMATE: A judge rejects a bid to toss a Hawaii youths’ lawsuit claiming the state is violating their rights by not curbing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the case to a September trial. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

CLEAN ENERGY: Amazon officials say they lobbied against failed Oregon legislation that would have required data centers to use clean energy because the bill did not address the transmission needed to bring the power to the grid. (CNBC)

• Developers plan to begin construction on a 393 MW wind power facility in Wyoming in August and bring it online in late 2024. (Douglas Budget)
Federal wildlife officials extend endangered species protections to a bat native to Wyoming, potentially affecting wind power development. (Sundance Times)
Northwest researchers say moving power from proposed offshore wind turbines through the existing transmission system would be like “getting a blood transfusion through your fingertips.(KLCC)

SOLAR: Solar industry groups urge California’s grid operator to reject proposed policies that would limit new projects to areas with existing or planned transmission. (PV Magazine)

STORAGE: An Arizona utility is set to begin construction on a 250 MW/1,000 MWh battery energy storage installation scheduled to go online in 2024. (Energy Storage News)

HYDROPOWER: California utility officials predict abundant winter snowfall will boost hydropower production this summer enough to displace natural gas generation and lower electricity bills. (KTVU) 

Nevada lawmakers look to ban metallic balloon sales, saying they are the leading cause of power outages in the state. (Las Vegas Sun)  
Analysts say California must build out its power grid to reach clean energy targets, but new transmission is expensive and difficult to permit. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS: Colorado environmental advocates propose a ballot measure to ban all oil and gas well permitting in the state after 2030. (Denver Gazette)

TRANSITION: Northwestern Colorado communities work to build a whitewater boating park to diversify the economy ahead of the closure of a coal power plant and mine. (Denver Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION: Colorado begins collecting a 2-cent-per-gallon gasoline fee to be used to tackle a multi-billion-dollar transportation project backlog. (Colorado Sun)

COMMENTARY: An Arizona advocate calls for a permanent uranium mining ban in and around the Grand Canyon to protect groundwater and the Colorado River from contamination. (Arizona Daily Sun)

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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.