Energy news in brief

** Montana Public Radio reports that Montana utility regulators say NorthWestern Energy must spend a minimum $3.2 million a year on removing trees near power lines.

** The Arizona Republic reports a state regulator proposes an independent investigation into Arizona’s largest electric utility over bad advice the company’s website offered customers.

**  A report in the Casper Star-Tribune says the Bureau of Land Management is opening an estimated 500,000 acres of public land in Wyoming to coal leasing despite climate concerns.

** The Denver Business Journal says Colorado regulators and Xcel Energy are considering expansion of community solar power in the Denver metro area.

** A report by the Daily Energy Insider says a St. Louis hospital, in partnership with Ameren Missouri is installing a 1.8 MW solar project on an employee parking garage.