CLIMATE: Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, as world governments — as well as U.S. cities and states — continue to make progress on curbing emissions despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal. (Washington Post)

An analysis finds that most countries are falling short on emissions reductions, and “the pace of change required to meet the Paris goals remains daunting.” (The Conversation)
A new study finds global emissions are down 7% in 2020 due to the pandemic slowdown, while acknowledging “lockdown is absolutely not the way to tackle climate change.” (Associated Press)
Multiple studies conclude that housing discrimination puts people of color at greater risk from extreme heat in many U.S. cities. (E&E News)

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EFFICIENCY: The Department of Energy issues a new rule allowing manufacturers to develop their own tests to measure appliance efficiency, which advocates warn could lead to abuses similar to the Volkswagen scandal. (The Hill)

A federal judge rules the EPA cannot take back documents it accidentally released revealing the names of oil lobbyists invited to a “happy hour” with agency officials. (Courthouse News Service)
Staff at the EPA criticize a decision to carry on a tradition of taking holiday photos with the agency’s administrator amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, with one saying “2020 at the EPA has perhaps reached its apogee of ludicrousness.” (E&E News)

OHIO: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was presented with a dossier of Samuel Randazzo’s ties to FirstEnergy before appointing him to chair the state’s Public Utilities Commission; Randazzo resigned last month amid an FBI corruption probe. (Associated Press, Energy News Network archive)

• Solar investors attracted to North Carolina by its renewable energy tax credit complain aggressive auditing is damaging the state’s reputation as a welcoming destination for investment. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• A former iron ore mining site in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is being repurposed for a 300 MW solar project. (WXPR)

WIND: A Minnesota utility announces three new power purchase agreements for wind projects that will help it replace power from a major coal plant retiring in 2023. (Star Tribune)

Boulder County, Colorado officials unanimously approve stricter oil and gas development regulations requiring future well pads to be set back at least 2,500 feet from any home, school or child care facility. (Longmont Times-Call)
The Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas drilling lease auction in California, its first in the state in eight years, only nets $46,000. (Courthouse News Service, Reuters)
Pennsylvania environmental officials suspend review of a fracking proposal at a steel mill outside Pittsburgh as the developer fails to receive local zoning approvals ahead of a deadline. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

PIPELINES: A natural gas pipeline operator in Pennsylvania asks a federal court to dismiss a claim by Catholic nuns that construction across their order’s property violates their religious practices. (Reuters)

COAL: West Virginia officials and business leaders discuss alternative uses for coal, including turning it into fertilizer. (WVNS)

A new report outlines how Washington could transition most of its 56,000 state vehicle fleet to electric by 2035. (E&E News)
The California startup behind an electrical vehicle that gets substantial power via solar panels instead of electric charging says the first batch has sold out in 24 hours. (The Independent)

• An editorial says a carbon price and tax credits would be the best way for the Biden administration to accelerate electric vehicle adoption. (Bloomberg)
• A Pennsylvania legislator says potential utility shutoffs for nearly 1 million residents is a “humanitarian crisis” that should have been addressed in a stopgap state budget. (Morning Call)
A California editorial board says the Paris Agreement, while an important step, doesn’t go far enough, and governments must work to end the extraction of fossil fuels. (Los Angeles Times)

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.