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COAL: An underground fire that has burned for two months so far in Utah’s most productive coal mine threatens to shut down the facility for good, jeopardizing the economic future of the small community that relies on it. (NBC News)  

UTILITIES:
Orange County, California’s supervisors vote to pull out of its contract with an embattled community choice clean energy authority, citing a lack of transparency and systematic operating problems. (Los Angeles Times)  
Colorado utilities say they have beefed up natural gas storage to help them keep power plants running and homes heated through this week’s forecasted cold spell. (CPR)

GRID:
California’s grid operator tweaks its energy storage management policies to ensure battery power is accurately priced and fully charged when needed. (Utility Dive)
Advocates say limited transmission access and interconnection queues are holding up tribal renewable energy projects even after federal reforms let tribes access direct payment tax credits to incentivize clean energy installations. (E&E News)
Pacific Gas & Electric offers 100 battery backup systems to low-income customers frequently impacted by planned public safety power outages. (Renewable Energy World)
A California community choice group urges regulators to offer dynamic pricing to farmers that would incentivize them to operate irrigation pumps when power demand is low. (PV Magazine)
A remote Alaska community calls for electricity conservation after a backup diesel generator fails during a cold snap. (KRBD)

MICROGRIDS:
San Diego Gas & Electric breaks ground on a microgrid in southern California to provide power to schools, a fire station and a library during outages. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
A newly installed microgrid allowed a northern California airport to keep operating after a severe earthquake caused widespread power outages across the region on Tuesday. (Flying)

OIL & GAS:
ConocoPhillips says it would abandon the proposed Willow drilling project in Alaska if the Biden administration forces the company to downsize it, saying it would no longer be economically feasible. (Bloomberg)
Environmental groups sue the Biden administration to halt a planned offshore oil and gas lease sale in the Cook Inlet in Alaska, saying it would open the door to decades of new drilling. (Reuters)
The U.S. Energy Department authorizes Sempra to ship natural gas from Western states to Mexico for re-export to Asia and other overseas markets. (Reuters)
The U.S. EPA proposes a new settlement that would require the Navy to defuel a leak-plagued fueling facility in Hawaii and operate Pearl Harbor’s drinking water system. (Honolulu Civil Beat)    

CLEAN ENERGY: Washington state regulators issue a draft environmental statement for a proposed 1,150 MW wind and solar power plus storage facility in the central part of the state. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

HYDROPOWER:
Washington state regulators issue an environmental impact statement for a proposed pumped hydropower storage facility along the Columbia River. (news release)
• A California municipal utility proposes raising rates after drought-diminished hydropower output forces it to buy power on the open market. (Palo Alto Online)

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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.