SOLAR: California regulators dial back plans to slash net metering rates for rooftop solar by phasing in new rates and dropping the previously proposed “solar tax,” though they still draw criticism from the solar industry and utilities. (Los Angeles Times) 

• A California municipal utility tests a tool that automates and streamlines distributed solar interconnection evaluations and can process more than a dozen applications daily. (Utility Dive)
Southwest Colorado residents urge county officials to reject a 155 MW solar facility proposed for 2,000 acres of private land, saying it would harm wildlife and property values. (Durango Telegraph)

OIL & GAS: The U.S. EPA proposes tightening methane emissions rules for oil and gas facilities by removing exemptions for low-producing wells and requiring companies to fix high-volume “super-emitter” leaks. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors partners with San Diego Gas & Electric to explore the feasibility of integrating vehicle-to-grid technology into the power network. (Energy Storage News)

• Public Service Company of New Mexico asks developers to propose new renewable generation projects, preferably on the Navajo Nation, to replace retiring coal power and meet growing demand. (NM Political Report)
A credit rating firm finds California utilities have invested heavily in wildfire mitigation measures, significantly reducing the risk of equipment sparking blazes. (Insurance Journal)

CLIMATE: A Utah judge rejects a youths’ climate lawsuit alleging the state’s pro-fossil fuel policies violated their constitutional rights. (E&E News, subscription) 

NATURAL GAS: An Oregon county’s report recommends transitioning away from natural gas-fueled stoves and appliances after finding they release dangerous air pollutants even when turned off. (Oregonian)

• Montana voters elect Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to the U.S. House, where he is expected to push the “energy dominance” agenda he espoused as part of the Trump administration. (E&E News)
U.S. Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a fossil fuel-friendly Washington state Republican, is expected to chair the congressional energy committee if the GOP takes control of the House. (KUOW)

LITHIUM: The U.S. Energy Department announces $12 million in funding for developing methods to extract and refine lithium from geothermal brines. (news release)

MICROGRIDS: A Washington state utility unveils a .5 MW solar-plus-storage microgrid with two electric vehicle-to-grid charging stations. (Public Power)

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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.