URANIUM: Navajo Nation officials and advocates push back against a uranium mining company’s exploratory drilling project near the site of a 1979 radioactive waste spill. (NM Political Report)

CLIMATE:
• Montana lawmakers pass a last-minute bill barring the state from factoring greenhouse gas emissions and their climate impacts into permitting decisions. (Montana Free Press)
Hawaii youths file a motion to stop an eight-month delay of their lawsuit alleging the state has not done enough to combat climate change. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)

HYDROPOWER: A federal agency’s staff recommends licensing for a proposed pumped hydropower storage facility along the Columbia River in Washington even though multiple tribal nations oppose it. (East Oregonian)

OIL & GAS:
A Colorado petroleum refinery releases elevated levels of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide into a surrounding neighborhood for the second time in a month. (Colorado Sun)
Alaska moves to defend its Cook Inlet federal oil and gas leases from a conservationists’ lawsuit alleging the Biden administration violated federal law when auctioning the parcels. (KINY)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California startup plans to lease or rent battery-electric commercial trucks to help companies comply with the state’s mandate to decarbonize its trucking sector. (Canary Media) 

LITHIUM: An Australian company advances plans to extract lithium from geothermal brine at California’s Salton Sea starting in 2025. (Press-Enterprise)

SOLAR:
• The U.S. Energy Department awards $50,000 to a Colorado farming nonprofit to develop methods of integrating solar power and agriculture. (Daily Sentinel)  
A developer leases 1,064 acres of federal land for utility-scale solar energy development in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. (news release)

WIND: The federal Bureau of Land Management receives over 8,000 comments regarding the controversial Lava Ridge wind facility proposed for southern Idaho. (East Oregonian)

UTILITIES: Tucson, Arizona, considers forming a municipal utility or launching a community choice program aimed at boosting residents’ renewable energy use. (Arizona Daily Star)

GRID:
Bay Area leaders criticize Pacific Gas & Electric’s equipment upkeep after an underground electrical vault fire leaves about 10,000 customers without power in downtown San Francisco. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A Washington state man pleads guilty to vandalizing four electrical substations near Tacoma last December, leaving 14,000 customers without power. (CBS News)

BIOFUELS: Construction begins on a facility in central California that will produce methane fuel from unused food waste. (Modesto Bee)

COAL: Coal companies announce strong first-quarter earnings from their Powder River Basin mines, but plummeting natural gas prices are expected to cut into demand. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COMMENTARY: A Wyoming conservationist urges the federal Bureau of Land Management to include the state in its new solar plan, saying the current system does not adequately avoid negative environmental impacts. (PacificInno)

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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.