ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Utilities, startups and local governments are partnering to build fast-charging networks for electric vehicles at a pace that is exceeding EV purchases in most of the country, though demand is expected to catch up. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO:
• Automakers and battery manufacturers are racing to develop new technologies that strengthen vehicles’ body structures while improving range. (Reuters)
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company plans to open its network of superchargers to other electric vehicles this year. (Reuters)
• The U.S. is expected to buy more new electric vehicles than combustion vehicles by 2036, a consulting firm predicts. (The Hill)
• The next round of North Carolina’s proposed Volkswagen settlement spending focuses largely on deploying electric vehicles and achieving the state’s climate initiatives. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES:
• The world’s largest renewable developer says it sees “enormous” opportunity for transmission and clean energy development under the Biden administration and the following decades. (E&E News)
• Florida Power & Light places 2,000 customers who want solar power on a waiting list after 48,000 residential customers buy up all the available solar power in the state. (Florida Politics)
• A new law signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy takes away local communities’ ability to have a say in transmission siting decisions in a move that will largely benefit offshore wind. (E&E News)

CLIMATE:
• Scientists say this summer’s rampant floods, heat waves, and droughts should be proof enough for world leaders to take immediate climate action. (Washington Post)
The Dixie Fire in northern California, thought to be sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment, grows to 192,000 acres and forces hundreds of residents to evacuate.(Los Angeles Times)
• More than 200 communities in the Chicago region devise a collective climate action plan that they say is the first of its kind in the U.S. (WBEZ)

PIPELINES:
Lawsuits pile up against Colonial Pipeline after its ransomware-induced shutdown cost small gas station owners sales and forced consumers to pay higher prices. (Washington Post)
• Even after the cancellation of the Byhalia Connection pipeline, activists in Memphis, Tennessee, continue to mobilize over concerns about indefinite rights to access land along its route. (Truthout)
Federal regulators plan to fine the Dakota Access pipeline operator more than $93,000 for pipeline safety violations. (Associated Press)

HYDROPOWER: Drought has decreased hydropower generation on the California grid by almost 50% from last year, forcing operators to rely on natural gas-fired generation and imported power. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy’s fired former CEO defends his actions related to the utility’s ongoing bribery scandal and criticized the company for agreeing to a $230 million settlement with federal prosecutors. (Reuters)

NATURAL GAS: Pennsylvania’s top court rules officials cannot balance the state budget by diverting proceeds from natural gas drilling on state forest land despite environmentalists’ claims the public should benefit from oil and gas profits. (TribLive)