GRID: A prolonged heat wave in Arizona drives peak electricity demand across the state to record highs, but utilities say the grid can withstand the strain. (Arizona Republic)

ALSO:
A powerful thunderstorm uproots trees and topples utility lines in southern Arizona, leaving more than 13,500 customers without power. (Arizona Daily Star)
A southern Utah city calls on residents to conserve electricity during the afternoons as temperatures climb into the triple digits for several consecutive days. (KSL TV)

CRITICAL MINERALS:
A federal appeals court rejects tribal nations’ and conservationists’ bid to block construction at the Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada. (Associated Press)
The U.S. Defense Department awards $37.5 million to fast-track a feasibility study of a proposed graphite mining project in western Alaska and processing site in Washington. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
A peer-reviewed long-term study conducted in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay finds birds’ nest survival decreased significantly near heavily used oil field infrastructure. (Alaska Beacon)
The U.S. EPA fines an oil and gas company $1.3 million for illegal emissions from tanks, flares and other equipment at its Permian Basin facilities. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)  
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland defends the Biden administration’s approval of the Willow oil and gas drilling project in Alaska, saying it will bring jobs and revenue to the region. (Washington Post)

STORAGE: A California startup looks to convert abandoned oil wells into gravity-driven energy storage installations. (Bakersfield Californian)

UTILITIES: A New Mexico regulator recuses himself from PNM’s current rate case after advocates call for him to do so based on previous testimony on a related issue. (NM Political Report)

SOLAR: A Montana university partners with mining companies on a proposed 63 MW solar-plus-storage demonstration project on abandoned mine lands near Butte. (news release)

TRANSPORTATION:
Washington, Oregon and California seek federal funding for a proposed West Coast medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling network. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)
Washington state’s oil industry and Democratic lawmakers spar over rising gasoline prices, with the former blaming a new carbon cap-and-trade program and the latter price gouging. (Idaho Capital Sun)

BIOFUELS:
Oregon conservationists raise concerns about a proposed facility that would convert woody biomass from forest-thinning projects into biogas and hydrogen fuel. (Sierra)
Colorado utilities seek new sources of renewable natural gas as part of state efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (The Gazette) 

HYDROGEN: Some environmentalists and residents of a Colorado community push back on Xcel Energy’s plans to blend hydrogen into its natural gas distribution system. (CPR)

CLEAN ENERGY: A conservationist urges New Mexico clean energy developers to adopt conservation banking and other strategies to avoid damaging endangered species habitats. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

CARBON CAPTURE: A company launches a carbon capture demonstration project at a natural gas combined cycle plant in California. (Power Engineering)

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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.