CLEAN ENERGY: The Department of Energy still has $40 billion in unused loan authority left over from the Obama administration that President-elect Biden could use to jump-start clean energy development. (Politico)

EFFICIENCY:
• The legacy of systemic racism means many Black and other minority-owned businesses continue to struggle with access to capital, which can be particularly challenging when pursuing financing for energy efficiency projects. (Energy News Network)
• A coalition of environmental groups sued last week to block a rollback of efficiency rules for dishwashers, part of a years-long anti-regulatory push by President Trump that had few other supporters. (CNN, Washington Post)
• A New York program aims to bring older buildings into compliance with state efficiency rules, an undertaking that advocates say will cost upwards of $20 billion. (New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION:
• The EPA last week said it is finalizing its first-ever emissions rules for commercial aircraft, but is not projecting any emissions reductions as a result. (Reuters)
• A federally funded effort has contributed to the buildout of electric vehicle charging and compressed natural gas stations along an interstate highway corridor connecting Michigan and Montana. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• Records show that two Texas billionaires received $35 million in coronavirus relief funds as they bought out rival oil and gas companies. (Wall Street Journal)
• A new Trump Administration rule makes it easier for liquified natural gas to be shipped by rail, raising safety concerns along densely populated rail corridors. (NPR)
• While roughly 580,000 Los Angeles County residents live less than a quarter-mile from a drilling site, many may not realize it because the wells are concealed by fake buildings and other structures. (Gizmodo)

PIPELINES: The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe ask the Minnesota Court of Appeals to halt construction on the Line 3 replacement until lawsuits challenging the project can be heard. (MPR News)

COAL: The bankruptcy of central Appalachian and Wyoming coal operator Blackjewel will stretch into 2021 after a federal judge blocked a request to liquidate the company. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OVERSIGHT: The Georgia runoff for a seat on the state’s utility regulation commission has focused on whether the Republican incumbent is too friendly to Georgia Power at the expense of consumers. (Associated Press)

OHIO:
• The Ohio Supreme Court postpones the collection of $170 million to support Ohio nuclear plants under a law at the center of a bribery scandal. (Cleveland.com)
• Newly revealed emails and text messages show the extent of lobbying pressure lawmakers faced to support HB 6. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE:
• President Trump’s effort to undermine the National Climate Assessment does not appear to have been successful. (New York Times)
The Defense Department could be an ally in President-elect Biden’s push for climate action. (Politico)
• After five months of negotiations, Massachusetts legislators release a final version of a climate law that creates a roadmap for net-zero emissions by 2050. (CommonWealth Magazine)
A Massachusetts city becomes the first in the nation to post climate warnings on gas pumps. (Grist)

WIND:
Construction is expected to begin this year on Montana’s largest wind farm, a 750 MW facility that will tap into the grid near the struggling Colstrip coal plant. (Billings Gazette)
• Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s $750 million plan to repower and extend the life of several large-scale wind projects, which the utility says will result in ratepayer savings. (Star Tribune)
• A new prototype wind turbine from GE is capable of generating 13 MW of electricity, roughly enough to power 12,000 homes. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla reports it delivered nearly 500,000 electric vehicles last year, and tests its autonomous driving feature on a long-distance drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times, Tech Times)

MEDIA: E&E News is purchased by Politico, which publisher Robert Allbritton says is part of a “doubling down on our policy coverage.” (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: A writer says that including unproven carbon capture technology in climate plans is “a big gamble” that benefits fossil fuel producers. (The New Republic)

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.