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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GEOTHERMAL:
Federal wildlife officials grant an emergency Endangered Species Act listing to a rare Nevada toad, jeopardizing a planned geothermal development on its habitat that officials say threatens the amphibian. (Nevada Current)
A California municipal utility enters a 10-year agreement to purchase power from a geothermal project. (Renewables Now) 

WIND:
• Federal prosecutors charge energy developer ESI for killing nine golden and bald eagles at Wyoming and New Mexico wind facilities. (Cowboy State Daily)
A Washington state developer proposes a 2,000 MW floating offshore wind facility 43 miles off the Olympic Peninsula’s coast. (news release)
Construction begins on a 477 MW wind power project in northern Arizona. (Arizona Daily Sun)
California’s grid operator sets a new wind generation record of 6.718 MW. (S&P Global)   

SOLAR: The federal Bureau of Land Management solicits solar lease bids for a 1,635-acre parcel in southern Nevada designated for development under the Trump administration. (news release)

GRID:
Heavy snow and wind damage Oregon and Washington utility lines, leaving almost 50,000 residents without power. (Associated Press)
• Alaska utilities propose forming an electric reliability organization to oversee standards and planning for the Railbelt power grid. (KDLL)

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico environmental advocates push state and federal regulators to clean up leaking and apparently abandoned oil and gas wells in the state’s northwest corner. (NM Political Report)
A federal judge rejects a whistleblower’s claim that the Bureau of Management fired him for advocating for endangered birds at a Wyoming oil and gas field. (WyoFile)
ConocoPhillips says more than 7.2 million cubic feet of natural gas escaped from a leak in one of its Alaska drilling facilities last month. (Reuters)  

TRANSPORTATION: A California school district will use a $9.6 million state grant to purchase electric buses and charging infrastructure for schools in polluted neighborhoods. (CBS8)  

COAL: A federal appeals court finds the Trump administration violated environmental laws by not considering climate impacts when it approved a Montana coal mine expansion in 2018. (Courthouse News) 

ELECTRIFICATION: Economists say California’s high electricity prices could threaten climate goals by slowing electrification of buildings and vehicles. (E&E News)

HYDROPOWER:
• Drought-diminished Colorado River dam hydropower production lowers electricity sale revenues — the primary funding source for federal endangered fish recovery programs. (Colorado Sun)
A diverse coalition proposes giving tribal governments more say over hydropower projects and streamlining licensing for offstream pumped storage projects. (E&E News, subscription) 

COMMENTARY:
• A Colorado columnist welcomes the U.S. EPA’s rejection of a deal between an oil company and state regulators that would have allowed a refinery to continue polluting a predominantly Latinx neighborhood. (Colorado Sun)
An energy analyst argues California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should continue operating so new renewable capacity can displace fossil fuels rather than replace lost nuclear power. (Nation)

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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.