UTILITIES: A New Mexico city locks down its offices in response to threats against staff after customers of the municipal natural gas utility received “shockingly” high bills. (Albuquerque Journal)

ALSO:
Colorado regulators find high natural gas prices and colder weather are causing utility bills to spike by as much as 100%. (Colorado Sun)
A California city considers ways to mitigate a four-fold increase in utility bills caused by skyrocketing natural gas prices. (Signal Tribune)
An Arizona city’s voters will decide whether a utility can raise rates to underground a planned power line through a residential area. (Arizona Daily Star)

Sponsored Link
Fresh Energy seeks an executive director
Fresh Energy, a Minnesota-based clean energy and climate policy nonprofit with regional impact and national influence, is seeking a charismatic and inspirational leader to serve as its next Executive Director.

ELECTRIFICATION:
A Montana city urges lawmakers to reject a proposal that would bar local governments from requiring new subdivisions be solar- and electric vehicle-ready. (Missoula Current)
• Boulder, Colorado, considers banning natural gas hookups on all new construction after a study finds gas stoves can lead to higher rates of childhood asthma. (KUNC)
Portland, Oregon, considers requiring new multi-family housing complexes to be wired for electric vehicle charging stations. (Oregonian)

COAL:
• The U.S. EPA denies requests from six power plants, including the Coronado facility in Arizona, seeking to keep dumping coal ash into unlined ponds. (Vxartnews)
Colorado allocates $9.2 million to support economic and workforce development in communities affected by coal plant or mine closures. (Craig Press)

NUCLEAR: A former U.S. Energy Department official says TerraPower’s sodium nuclear reactor planned for Wyoming has a high potential for explosions and weapons material proliferation. (Cowboy State Daily)

OIL & GAS: A Republican U.S. lawmaker from Washington state introduces a bill that would require the government to increase oil and gas drilling on federal lands prior to tapping the petroleum reserves. (Roll Call)

SOLAR:
Neighbors of a proposed 96 MW solar-plus-storage project near Santa Fe, New Mexico, worry the lithium-ion batteries could ignite or explode. (Santa Fe New Mexican)   
A California industrial campus where Chevron is a tenant begins installing a 25 MW solar array expected to offset 90% of its energy use. (PV Magazine) 

BATTERIES: A company making battery storage systems for the marine industry opens a manufacturing facility in Bellingham, Washington. (Marine Link)

LITHIUM: A climate think tank finds the U.S. could cut lithium demand 90% by expanding public transportation, shrinking electric vehicle batteries and stepping up recycling. (Grist)

CLIMATE: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis urges lawmakers to strip interim greenhouse gas emissions targets from a proposed climate bill to allow the administration more time to adjust its emissions-cutting roadmap. (Colorado Newsline)

BIOFUELS: California environmentalists warn state officials that a plan to convert Bay Area oil refineries to produce biofuels from grease and seed oils could increase greenhouse gas emissions. (Capital & Main)

GEOTHERMAL: The federal Bureau of Land Management leases two parcels in Utah for geothermal development, generating nearly $200,000 revenue. (news release)

More from the Vxartnews: Midwest | Southeast | Northeast | West

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.