OIL & GAS: An analysis finds the oil and gas industry’s soaring water consumption for horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing is draining aquifers in water-scarce regions of New Mexico and Colorado. (New York Times)

ALSO: California’s new petroleum market oversight division blames rising oil costs and inadequate refiner planning for the recent statewide gasoline price spike. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

POLLUTION:

COAL: The operator of Colstrip power plant in Montana agrees to stick with a state plan to remove all 6.7 million tons of coal ash at two defunct units and store it in a lined landfill. (Montana Standard)

HYDROPOWER: A proposal to tear down fish-harming hydropower dams in the Northwest pits climate advocates who value the clean energy sources against tribal nations and environmentalists looking to restore the rivers. (Los Angeles Times)

WIND:

SOLAR:

MICROGRID: A California children’s hospital plans to replace diesel generators with a solar-powered microgrid with long-duration battery storage to provide power during outages. (Power Engineering)

STORAGE: Xcel Energy plans to begin construction next year on a long-duration iron-air battery storage installation at its Comanche coal plant in Colorado that is scheduled to close in 2031. (CBS Colorado)

TRANSPORTATION: Colorado looks to use an expiring tunnel lease as leverage to increase passenger train service along a major rail line mostly used to move freight. (Colorado Newsline)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New Mexico considers requiring electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new buildings’ parking facilities. (Albuquerque Journal)

LITHIUM: Conservationists worry a report indicating the world’s largest lithium deposit may lie under northern Nevada could spark a flurry of new mining proposals. (Nevada Current)

HYDROGEN: Oregon and Washington state leaders look to fast-track a green hydrogen industry, but say water scarcity, community opposition and labor shortages could hamper efforts. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

CLIMATE: A California official calls for a “third paradigm” of energy planning, saying climate change and worsening extreme weather are rendering current frameworks obsolete. (Power Engineering International)

GEOTHERMAL: A startup begins exploratory drilling for its proposed 400 MW advanced geothermal energy project in southwestern Utah. (news release)

CARBON CAPTURE: The developers of a carbon capture technology testing system in Wyoming expect to complete construction on the facility next month. (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.