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UTILITIES: New Mexico regulators order the state’s largest utility to immediately issue customer rate credits and provide funds to state agencies assisting impacted workers after it shuts down each of the remaining two units of an aging coal power plant this year. (NM Political Report)  

ALSO: Colorado homeowners associations sue Xcel Energy over two wildfires that they claim were sparked by the utility’s equipment. (Denver Post)

TRANSITION: Northwestern New Mexico’s cultural and economic ties to fossil fuel development hamper efforts to diversify the economy and provide a just energy transition. (Energy News Network)  

OIL & GAS:
Texas researchers find an increase in earthquake frequency in the Permian Basin is tied to oil and gas activity, including reinjecting wastewater underground and hydraulic fracturing. (Natural Gas Intelligence)
Some California oil and gas inspectors say they’re overwhelmed by a requirement that they inspect 5,000 wells per month, and that it has allowed problematic facilities to go undetected. (Desert Sun)
Colorado regulators threaten to fine and penalize an oil and gas firm if it fails to comply with an agreement to clean up 74 facilities within six months. (Colorado Sun)
Conservation groups sue the Biden administration over its resumption of oil and gas lease sales, saying it failed to account for the leases’ collective impact on the land and climate. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COAL:
• Republican-led state attorneys general call on a federal court to reconsider its April decision to annul the Trump administration’s 2018 approval of a Montana coal mine expansion. (FOX Business)
Wyoming lawmakers explore additional ways to push utilities to install carbon capture equipment on aging coal plants to keep them operating. (WyoFile)

NUCLEAR: California lawmakers consider a bill that would allocate $75 million to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant running beyond its planned 2025 retirement date. (CalMatters)

LITHIUM:
• Some California lithium industry officials say a proposed flat tax on lithium extracted in the Salton Sea region would stifle production and push some mining companies to leave the state. (Reuters) 
• An Idaho energy startup collaborates with federal researchers to develop technology that would extend the life of energy-dense lithium-sulfur batteries. (news release)

HYDROPOWER: Washington state regulators seek public input on a pumped hydropower energy storage project proposed for a site adjacent to the Columbia River. (KUOW)

CARBON CAPTURE:
California’s draft plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 relies heavily on capturing carbon from industrial facilities and direct air capture. (E&E News)
California environmental justice advocates urge the U.S. EPA to reject a raft of carbon capture project proposals, saying they would prolong the life of polluting facilities in low-income neighborhoods of color. (news release)

BIOFUELS: A Utah county explores the feasibility of building a facility that would convert dead trees removed from forests to reduce wildfire hazard into marketable biofuels. (KPCW)

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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.