CLEAN ENERGY: Indigenous tribal nations say a lack of upfront capital and technical expertise is hindering their efforts to tap billions of dollars of federal clean energy incentives. (Reuters)

Colorado lawmakers propose a regional passenger rail network in the northwest part of the state to help meet affordable housing and transportation needs. (Sky-Hi News)
A Colorado town sees transit ridership jump 22% after implementing a zero fare summer program for residents and visitors. (Durango Herald)

The U.S. EPA fines a Colorado oil refinery $161,000 for producing high-pollution gasoline and requires it to buy $600,000 in clean lawn equipment for high-ozone Denver-area counties. (Colorado Sun)
The All Pueblo Council of Governors opposes a Republican U.S. House bill that would block the oil and gas drilling ban around Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico. (Native News Online)   

STORAGE: A national laboratory in Colorado finds closed-loop pumped storage hydropower has the lowest lifecycle carbon footprint of all energy storage technologies. (OPB)  

GRID: Two men plead guilty to vandalizing power substations in Washington state last year in an attempt to facilitate robberies, leaving thousands without power on Christmas. (Associated Press)

A California probe of soaring utility bills finds San Diego Gas & Electric often exceeded its authorized rate of return and concludes that regulators must better ensure that power companies don’t overstate their costs. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Lawyers for victims of the Gray Fire in Washington state allege electrical lines may have sparked the blaze that destroyed 240 homes. (Spokesman-Review)   
• A Colorado power wholesaler looks to sell its coal and natural gas-generated power as its member utilities leave to seek cheaper and cleaner energy elsewhere. (Denver Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Alaska electric vehicle owners push back on petroleum industry claims that the cars don’t work well in cold weather. (Alaska Beacon)

The Northern Cheyenne urges Montana regulators to require NorthWestern Energy to include the tribal nation’s proposed solar project in its integrated resource plan. (Montana Standard)
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren says a new 72 MW solar installation in southern Utah will “kickstart” tribal clean energy development. (San Juan Record)
Some residents of a Colorado town push back on the municipality’s plan to install a small solar array to power a water treatment plant, claiming it could cause eye injuries and harm property values. (Durango Herald)

CRITICAL MINERALS: Researchers look to extract rare earth elements from acidic metal-laden water in the Berkeley Pit, a shuttered copper mine in Montana. (Elko Daily Free Press)

California startup Oklo looks to recover from a regulatory setback with a new round of financing and deals to sell power from nuclear microreactors it is developing. (Canary Media)
Arizona’s Republican-dominated senate plans to sue the Biden administration over its national monument designation and uranium mining ban near the Grand Canyon. (AZ Mirror)

A report finds less than one-third of a Colorado county’s cannabis growers have completed a voluntary carbon conscious certification program aimed at reducing energy use. (Newsbreak)  
Phoenix, Arizona’s maximum temperature reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit for the 54th day this year, breaking the 2020 record. (Associated Press)

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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.