CLIMATE: The House plans a key vote Saturday on provisions of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, but Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to a program that would reward utilities for adopting clean energy continues to put the scale of climate action in question. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a $15 billion spending package to fight climate change, wildfire, and drought and includes $3.9 billion for electric vehicle investment and infrastructure. (Los Angeles Times)
• Youth activists are holding climate protests in more than 1,400 locations around the world today, in an effort led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. (CNN)

EQUITY: An efficiency advocate says two federal bills under consideration “have a particular focus on equity” that should be prioritized. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• Federal regulators propose new reliability rules that would require utilities to better protect grid infrastructure from extreme cold weather in hopes of preventing deadly winter power outages like February’s in Texas. (Reuters)
• The New Orleans City Council unanimously passes a package of measures aimed at investigating Entergy’s Hurricane Ida response and studying the city’s options for severing ties with the utility. (NOLA.com)
• Ida has forced a reckoning between the city and Entergy, which has a long history of resisting changes that would have made its electric grid more resilient to strong storms, interviews and public documents reveal. (NBC News) 

EPA: President Biden has nominated a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s mishandling of science to lead the EPA’s science office. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• Authorities still do not know how much pollution was spilled or released during Hurricane Ida, and they probably never will. (Inside Climate News)
• A federal judge will allow Louisiana to intervene in a lawsuit challenging an upcoming drilling lease auction. (Reuters)

COAL: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is among a group of senators reintroducing legislation to extend a tax for the federal black lung disability trust fund, which faces insolvency without the revenue. (WVNews) 

MEDIA: Documents show Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation supported carbon pricing and monitored its own emissions since 2006 even as its news outlets elevated misinformation on climate change. (Vice)

NUCLEAR:
• The Government Accountability Office urges Congress to revisit nuclear waste storage, citing a “continuing impasse” on the issue since a 2010 shutdown of the Yucca Mountain storage site. (The Hill)
• Pennsylvania’s newly released climate plan calls for keeping the state’s nuclear plants open, which will likely require public subsidies. (Power Magazine)

SOLAR: A Minneapolis pilot project will test the concept of a “virtual power plant” in which solar-generating customers share power without going through a utility. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY:
• A researcher says “energy disruptions are not inevitable consequences” of climate change and regulators and planners need to think differently about natural disasters. (The Conversation)
• An analyst says regional transmission operator PJM “has really turned the corner” in working with states to put more clean energy on the grid. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
• A coalition of cities in PJM’s territory says federal regulators should mostly undo the grid operator’s Minimum Offer Price Rule that threatens state and local clean energy goals. (Utility Dive)
• A Virginia energy democracy organizer says providing compensation to intervenors in utility regulatory cases could help ensure the process is more fair and equitable. (Energy News Network)

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.