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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OIL & GAS: Legal experts say the Biden administration’s approach of offering selective oil and gas leases could be more defensible in court than an outright drilling ban. (E&E News)

ALSO:
The U.S. EPA considers partnering with nonprofits, advocacy groups and individuals to monitor air quality under its proposed rule aimed at limiting oil and gas facility methane emissions. (E&E News)
ConocoPhillips asks a judge to block state regulators from releasing information regarding exploratory drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. (Alaska Public Media)
Alaska oil and gas officials doubt the Biden administration’s claim that it canceled a lease sale in that state due to lack of industry interest. (E&E News, subscription) 

UTILITIES:
• Salt River Project asks Arizona regulators to reverse their rejection of a proposed natural gas plant expansion in a historically Black community in the southeastern part of the state. (ABC15)
Alaska lawmakers increase the maximum subsidy amount allowable under a program that lowers rural residents’ utility costs so they are comparable to larger communities’. (Alaska Public Media)
Hilcorp tells Alaska utilities it does not have enough natural gas reserves to provide for new contracts, prompting utilities to seek new power sources. (Anchorage Daily News, subscription)

SOLAR: A solar installation providing power to 70 affordable rental homes in San Jose, California, goes online. (Connect CRE)

GRID: Rising utility costs, falling battery prices and increasing power outages spur Californians to install solar and storage and defect from the grid. (San Francisco Examiner)

TRANSPORTATION:
Denver-area governments consider redirecting funds away from road widening projects and toward multimodal projects like rapid transit and bike lanes to help them meet climate goals. (CPR)   
• Tesla is building a 100-car electric vehicle charging station — the nation’s largest — in southern California. (Victorville Daily Press)  

HYDROGEN: Los Angeles’ city council votes to apply for federal funding to establish a regional green hydrogen hub to fuel hard-to-electrify industries in the city. (City News Service)

NUCLEAR:
Pacific Gas & Electric officials say they have not decided whether to apply for federal funds to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant running past its scheduled 2025 retirement date. (Reuters)
• Environmental and anti-nuclear groups oppose attempts to extend the life of Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, saying it is old and too close to earthquake faults. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Washington state officials seek public input on the state’s greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-invest program. (news release)  

COMMENTARY:
• Oregon policy experts say the state must couple power grid decarbonization with electrification of transportation, buildings and industry to achieve its climate goals. (Energy News Network)
A California university professor says the state’s proposal to be carbon neutral by 2045 doesn’t go far enough and locks in fossil fuel pollution by relying on unproven and costly carbon capture. (Los Angeles Times)

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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.