Editor’s note: Western Energy News will not publish July 3 and 4; we’ll be back Wednesday, July 5.

OIL & GAS: New Mexico regulators fine an oil and gas company an unprecedented $40.3 million for allegedly violating state pollution reporting and control regulations by flaring off excessive quantities of natural gas in 2019 and 2020. (Associated Press)

A northeastern Colorado couple calls for stricter oversight of oil and gas pipelines after an underground leak at their farm upends their lives. (Greeley Tribune)
Analysts predict Permian Basin oil and gas companies’ efforts to cut emissions by electrifying equipment will strain local power grids. (Journal of Petroleum Technology)
Federal wildlife officials propose extending endangered species protections to a lizard with habitat in the Permian Basin, potentially affecting oil and gas development. (news release)
The Biden administration rejects environmentalists’ calls to phase out oil and gas drilling on public land, saying a “robust rulemaking agenda” is already underway to address the climate crisis. (news release)

UTILITIES: Pacific Gas & Electric seeks nearly $7 billion in federal loans to upgrade its transmission network and bury power lines to help meet increasing demand and reduce wildfire risk. (San Francisco Chronicle)

GRID: A clean energy advocacy group gives California high marks for power grid planning and development, but near-failing grades to the rest of the West. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: Washington analysts dispute claims that the state’s new carbon cap-and-invest program is to blame for rising gas prices, pointing instead to a major pipeline’s maintenance outage. (OPB) 

SOLAR: A California energy journalist explores whether solar development on residential and commercial rooftops, brownfields and unused agricultural land  across the country could generate enough power to displace fossil fuels. (Los Angeles Times)  

• California regulators authorize $8.9 billion for energy efficiency initiatives and electrification incentives over the next eight years. (BNN Bloomberg)
A California startup works to develop super-efficient microchips to reduce data centers’ energy consumption. (Oregonian)

TRANSPORTATION: Environmental justice organizations and blue states look to defend California’s new trucking-emissions restrictions against a lawsuit brought by trade groups. (E&E News, subscription)

Washington state transit agencies receive $59 million in federal funds to purchase battery-electric and diesel-electric hybrid buses and install charging infrastructure. (news release)
A Utah agency offers developers incentives to install DC fast electric vehicle charging facilities in affordable housing units. (Town Lift)

BIOFUELS: A Hawaii electric cooperative begins fueling a 27.5 MW power plant with locally produced biodiesel made from used cooking oil. (Hawaii News Now)

COAL: Wyoming lawmakers consider a proposal to tax electricity generated in the state to offset declining coal production revenues — and to disincentivize wind power production. (Cowboy State Daily)

PUBLIC LANDS: A proposed land exchange between Utah and the federal government could facilitate lithium and uranium exploration in the southern part of the state. (Land Desk) 

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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.