GRID: Pacific Gas & Electric brings in 5,000 workers from across the nation to help restore power as a series of storms batters utility equipment and leaves hundreds of thousands of residents without electricity across California. (ABC30, Los Angeles Times, PowerOutage.us)

UTILITIES:
Analysts expect New Mexico’s restructured utility regulatory board will reconsider a proposed PNM-Avangrid merger rejected by the previous commission in 2021. (Utility Dive)
A series of winter storms saps heating fuel supplies in Nevada, prompting the governor to temporarily suspend regulations on propane truckers to expedite deliveries. (Carson Now)

SOLAR:
The FBI joins Nevada law enforcement agencies in investigating an alleged terror attack on a 100 MW solar facility that provides power to Las Vegas casinos. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A nonprofit establishes a rooftop solar installation training center in southern California. (news release)

OIL & GAS:
Wyoming researchers find replanting old oil and gas well pads with native grasses and flowers leads to the growth of insect and pollinator populations and diversity. (WyoFile)
Some California environmental justice advocates say Los Angeles’ plan to phase out oil and gas drilling over 20 years won’t deliver adequate short-term results. (Environmental Health News)
A Colorado think tank finds the oil and gas sector has only a “modest” impact on the state’s overall economy. (Colorado Newsline)

NATURAL GAS:
Analysts say cold weather, reduced pipeline capacity and diminishing hydropower generation contribute to highest-in-the-nation natural gas prices on the West Coast. (Los Angeles Times)
A New Mexico city spends $380,000 on utility bill rebates to offset rising natural gas prices. (Deming Headlight)

WIND: Some Wyoming officials worry a slew of proposed wind projects in the southern part of the state will harm wildlife and industrialize agricultural land.  (WyoFile)

GEOTHERMAL: A New Mexico lawmaker proposes offering up to $16 million in tax credits for residential, commercial or agricultural geothermal energy development (Deming Headlight)

CRITICAL MINERALS: Wyoming lawmakers introduce a bill that would authorize the state to permit rare earth mines. (Cowboy State Daily)

COAL: Montana advocates say a Canadian firm has co-opted state regulators into pushing for weaker water quality standards aimed at preventing cross-border contamination from the company’s coal mines. (Narwhal)   

HYDROGEN: New Mexico lawmakers plan to introduce bills aimed at jump-starting hydrogen production even though similar legislation was shot down last year. (NM Political Report)

CLIMATE: A study finds eelgrass beds in San Diego Bay sequester 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to that emitted by more than 370,000 cars annually. (KPBS)

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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.