SOLAR: Researchers find installing solar panels above tomato plants can increase crop yield by cooling plants and increasing humidity, especially in hot and dry areas such as California’s Central Valley. (Energy News Network)

COAL: A New Mexico city hoping to revive the recently closed San Juan coal plant and install carbon capture urges regulators to reject the owners’ request to end an operating agreement and allow decommissioning to proceed. (Utility Dive)

The Biden administration signals support for a controversial LNG export terminal and pipeline proposed for Alaska. (E&E News, subscription)
A Wyoming task force finds high gasoline and diesel prices are “determined by factors well beyond our control,” even in one of the nation’s leading energy-producing states. (WyoFile)
Water companies urge New Mexico regulators to allow oil and gas wastewater to be treated and reused for purposes other than drilling, but environmental groups say the water is untreatable. (Source NM)

A federal judge rules California cities can sue oil and gas corporations in state court over their products’ contribution to climate change, rejecting the companies’ bid to keep the cases in federal court. (San Francisco Chronicle)
The U.S. Energy Department awards a California startup $4.1 million to use concentrated solar power to remove carbon dioxide from limestone prior to using it for cement production. (Renewables Now)

POLLUTION: Colorado air quality officials reject environmentalists’ calls to speed up plans to tackle ozone and greenhouse gas pollution even though the U.S. EPA says the state is falling behind on its own mandates. (Colorado Sun)

• Southern California avoids predicted public power safety outages during a dry and windy spell even though Santa Ana wind gusts reached 77 mph. (Los Angeles Times)   
Two Alaska island communities agree to interconnect their power grids, allowing them to share power and reduce reliance on diesel generators. (Alaska Public Media) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The U.S. Energy Department awards two companies $200 million to construct electric vehicle battery-material factories in eastern Washington state. (Spokesman-Review) 

STORAGE: A California startup that repurposes retired electric vehicle batteries for use as energy storage for distributed solar installs its first project at a Miramar business. (KFMB)

UTILITIES: A race for a position on Montana’s utility regulatory board pits a pro-fossil fuel Republican against a Democrat who espouses “affordable, reliable, sustainable energy.” (Montana Free Press)

CRITICAL MINERALS: Proposed rare earth element mines in Wyoming stand to benefit from new federal tax credits for green metals, but commercial mining could be years away. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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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.