OIL & GAS: Shell and ExxonMobil sell 23,000 oil and gas wells in California to an asset management group, raising fears the facilities will be orphaned and cleanup costs borne by state and federal governments. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
An environmental group sues federal wildlife managers for failing to reinstate federal protection for the imperiled prairie chicken, saying oil and gas development in the Permian Basin threatens the bird. (Associated Press)
Colorado regulators approve 19 horizontal oil and gas wells in the northeastern part of the state, despite protests from local officials who said the project could pose public health risks. (Colorado Sun)
• A city in northeast Colorado considers banning new oil and gas wells within 2,000 feet of buildings or parks, which would effectively prohibit new drilling. (Coloradoan)
NASA researchers identify more than 50 methane super-emitters worldwide, including a two-mile long plume associated with Permian Basin oil and gas infrastructure. (news release)

CLIMATE: California regulators find the pandemic, a shift to electric vehicles and increased clean power generation led the state’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions to drop 9% from 2019 levels, the largest annual decrease on record. (Mercury News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Biden administration awards school districts in seven Western states more than $18 million to purchase electric buses. (news release)
Pacific Gas & Electric establishes the nation’s first rate program compensating electric vehicle owners for sending power back to the grid. (news release)
California awards San Francisco $2.3 million to kickstart a local vehicle electrification program. (Bay City News) 

HYDROPOWER: Federal officials say a hydroelectric turbine has leaked up to 600 gallons of oil into the Lower Snake River in Washington state over the past three months. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

WIND: Portland General Electric buys a share of Montana’s largest wind power facility to replace generation that will be lost when it pulls out of the Colstrip coal power plant in 2025. (Billings Gazette)

SOLAR:
An Oregon city and utility team up to build the state’s first community-scale solar-powered microgrid. (Salem Reporter)
• PacifiCorp agrees to purchase power from a 400 MW solar-plus-storage installation planned for Utah coal country. (news release)
California researchers find a globalized, open-trade solar panel supply-chain saved the U.S. an estimated $24 billion in production costs between 2006 and 2020. (Times of San Diego)
Denver, Colorado, completes two of 11 planned solar community gardens aimed at helping low-income households with energy costs. (news release)

NUCLEAR: The Idaho National Laboratory receives $150 million in federal funding to boost research and development on advanced reactors and fuels. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: A Wyoming geologist calls on the U.S. EPA to reject an oil and gas company’s proposal to inject produced wastewater underground, saying it could contaminate a prolific and reliable freshwater aquifer. (WyoFile)

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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.