EPA: The U.S. Senate confirms Michael Regan as the next administrator of the EPA, where he faces the daunting task of rebuilding an agency the Trump administration actively undercut and will play a key role in advancing environmental justice policies. (Reuters, Rolling Stone, Politico)

OVERSIGHT: In a case involving federal coal leasing, a judge rules that the Interior Department has failed to justify missing phone records from former Secretary Ryan Zinke’s tenure at the agency. (E&E News)

CLIMATE:
• Climate change and resulting extreme weather events will have “far-reaching” effects on the electricity grid that could result in billions of dollars in damages, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. (The Hill)
• By the end of the decade, the U.S. needs to cut emissions by at least 57% from 2005 levels and phase out new gasoline vehicles by 2030 if it wants to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050, a new report finds. (Reuters, The Guardian)
• The lead negotiator for Massachusetts Democrats says the Senate is poised to again pass a sweeping climate bill with only “minor” changes while rejecting the most serious objections Gov. Charlie Baker had in his recent veto. (Boston Globe)
• An analysis finds TV news coverage of climate change declined in 2020. (Media Matters)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• Ohio lawmakers held second hearings this week on twin bills that critics say would infringe on individuals’ property rights and make it nearly impossible to finance large-scale wind and solar projects. (Energy News Network)
• A law school’s analysis finds more than 100 cities, counties and states have enacted ordinances restricting renewable energy development, which could pose a barrier to efforts to cut U.S. emissions. (E&E News) 

UTILITIES: A pair of lawsuits filed yesterday seek more than $1 billion in damages from PacificCorp, alleging utility negligence was responsible for destructive wildfires in Oregon last year. (Statesman Journal) 

NUCLEAR:
• The Ohio House passes a bill to revoke $1 billion in subsidies for two nuclear plants, which needs to be reconciled with a state Senate version. (Cleveland.com)
• An Ohio Republican says it’s “false to insinuate” that corruption in the state House was related to the passage of the state’s power plant subsidy law, despite multiple guilty pleas to corruption charges. (Cleveland.com)

OIL & GAS:
After a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled the eastern half of Oklahoma is tribal reservation land, Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed a commission to help the state navigate the court decision that is stacked with oil and gas insiders and has no Indigenous voices. (The Intercept)
Colorado’s attorney general wants FERC to investigate reports that market traders made a $210 million windfall profit from increased natural gas prices during last month’s cold snap. (Colorado Sun)
• President Joe Biden’s decision to halt new oil and gas leases on federal land won’t have much effect on production through the end of 2022, an Energy Information Administration analysis shows. (Axios)
A new report finds that Colorado faces more than $8 billion in costs to clean up roughly 60,000 unplugged oil wells. (High Country News)

PIPELINES: Landowners are frequently being stuck with the financial liability for out-of-service pipelines on their property. (Nexus Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
There’s an enormous amount of inertia in the system to overcome”: Researchers try to project when electric vehicles will become dominant in the U.S. (New York Times)
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says the U.S. will spend “billions of dollars over the next few years” on developing electric vehicle technologies. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: A controversial change to North Carolina’s building energy code remains on the table despite a budget review that could prolong its adoption by up to a year. (Energy News Network)

HYDROPOWER: A Celilo Wy’am Native American advocate says a Columbia River dam has adversely impacted the way of life for the area’s Indigenous people. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

COMMENTARY:
• Clean car standards will make it easier to purchase cleaner vehicles in Virginia, producing a myriad of economic and health benefits, writes the transportation director for a business sustainability group. (Energy News Network)
• Renewable energy projects can “help farming families stay operating through difficult economic conditions,” says a member of the Wisconsin Land and Liberty Coalition. (Madison Capital Times)
• A climate advocate says growing marijuana outdoors will be key to reducing the industry’s energy footprint. (Slate)

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.