HYDROPOWER: Xcel Energy drops plans to build an 800 MW pumped hydropower storage facility in western Colorado a day after federal regulators permitted a study of the project. (Colorado Sun)

GEOTHERMAL: The developer of a proposed 60 MW geothermal plant in Nevada stalled due to its potential impacts on an endangered toad attempts to restart the project by scaling it down to 12 MW. (Associated Press)

• New Mexico clean energy advocates say a municipal utility in the northwest part of the state discriminates against rooftop and community solar to benefit local fossil fuel industries. (Source NM)  
An Arizona solar startup that develops photovoltaic panels that lie flat on the ground contracts for its first utility-scale project. (Renew Economy)

HYDROGEN: An Oregon utility cancels plans to blend hydrogen into its natural gas distribution system, citing customer concerns. (Eugene Register-Guard)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: Wyoming lawmakers table a bill that would create deregulated industrial power zones to attract cryptocurrency miners after utilities oppose it. (WyoFile)

UTILITIES: Pacific Gas & Electric says it will expedite payments to victims of a September wildfire in northern California that may have been sparked by the utility’s equipment. (Sacramento Bee)

A Colorado county rejects an oil and gas company’s bid to lease county-owned land for drilling, saying development would harm open space and residents’ health. (Times-Call)
A Blackfeet Tribe advocacy group appeals a federal judge’s September reinstatement of an oil and gas lease on the tribe’s ancestral homeland in Montana. (Montana Free Press)
Oil and gas industry groups urge the Biden administration to exempt low-producing wells from proposed methane emission rules even though studies show they can emit large volumes of the greenhouse gas. (Reuters)
A second Los Angeles committee recommends the city council ban new oil and gas drilling and phase out existing operations within 20 years. (City News Service)

• An environmental group’s study finds power plant operators in Nevada, Wyoming and Utah have failed to clean up coal ash depositories that are contaminating groundwater. (Energy News Network)
An arbitration panel is set to consider a New Mexico city’s bid to halt decommissioning activities at and take ownership of a recently retired coal plant. (Farmington Daily Times)

BIOFUELS: San Diego County regulators order a biodiesel plant to mitigate “vomit-like” odors from the facility after residents complained about adverse health effects. (San Diego Union-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.