CLIMATE: President Biden says “I think it’s clear” that a $500 billion package of clean energy incentives can pass the Senate independent of the Build Back Better bill, but it still faces opposition from Republicans despite benefits for their states. (New York Times) 

ALSO:
• Major utilities file a brief to the Supreme Court in support of the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions, as Virginia’s new Republican attorney general pulls the state out of a coalition backing the EPA in the case. (E&E News)
• While the Biden administration has taken significant steps on addressing climate change, some advocates say the pace of action does not match the scale of the crisis. (ABC News)
• A coalition of environmental and Indigenous groups urges the Biden administration to end oil and gas production on public land by 2035. (The Hill)

POLITICS: Biden says he did not anticipate the level of obstructionism he would face from Republicans, arguing that it is more intense now than when President Obama was in office. (Politico)

CLEAN ENERGY: A consulting group’s analysis says that a rapid transition to clean energy will be costly at first, but “this pain in the short-term will pay off in the long-term.” (Reuters)

GRID: Texas power grid operators and natural gas drillers prepare for a blast of winter weather that will test recent reforms to fix the state’s electrical grid and weatherize gas production. (Bloomberg, Washington Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent climate and equity executive order revealed how fast expectations for plug-in electric vehicles are changing in the state. (Energy News Network)
• Virginia lawmakers advance a bill to create a $250 penalty for drivers of non-electric cars that park in spots reserved for electric cars. (WVTF)

UTILITIES:
• MidAmerican Energy announces a $3.9 billion proposal to build more than 2,000 MW of wind and 50 MW of solar capacity — enough to help it match all of its Iowa customers’ annual needs with renewable generation. (Des Moines Register)
• Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which supplies wholesale power to rural Western utilities, agrees to enforceable, near-term emissions cuts three times larger than under a previous plan. (Denver Post)

SOLAR: A new report says big-box retailers can meet half of their energy needs with rooftop solar. (Washington Post)

WIND: Ørsted and Eversource plan to start onshore construction in early February on the South Fork wind farm off the New York and Rhode Island coasts. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Biden climate adviser and former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy says the administration has made “historic progress” on climate change but recognizes more needs to be done. (The Hill)
• New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts have recently joined West Coast states in adopting a policy to accelerate the use of electric trucks. (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.