SOLAR: President Biden is considering banning polysilicon imports from China’s Xinjiang region over allegations of human rights abuses within the industry that produces much of the world’s supply of the solar panel component. (Politico)

ALSO:
• A Democratic U.S. senator is preparing legislation that would establish a tax credit for domestic solar manufacturers, and he hopes to include it in a larger infrastructure bill. (Bloomberg)
• The CEO of Ohio-based panel manufacturer First Solar says removing the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar would “create challenges” as the company looks to expand. (WTVA)

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OIL & GAS:
• An oil refinery in the Virgin Islands that twice rained oil mist on surrounding residents will close indefinitely due to “extreme financial constraints,” pleasing environmental justice advocates but jeopardizing jobs on St. Croix. (Washington Post)
• Environmentalists lean on federal courts, lawmakers and the White House to renew drilling safety measures enacted after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill but weakened by the Trump administration. (Inside Climate News)
The Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing pause unites New Mexico’s Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers in opposition, even after a judge cancels the moratorium amid a court battle. (Capital & Main)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A U.S. Senate infrastructure proposal with bipartisan support alarms electric vehicle advocates as it includes $15 billion for EV infrastructure but proposes an annual surcharge on owners. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• South Carolina regulators reject Duke Energy’s long-term planning documents, which could prompt the utility to shift away from fossil fuels toward solar and battery storage. (Utility Dive; E&E News, subscription)
Southern California Edison turns to utility-scale storage, distributed batteries, and demand response to ease heat-related stress on its grid. (Los Angeles Business Journal)

COAL:
• Clean energy advocates are celebrating last week’s announcement that two Illinois coal plants will close next year, but remain concerned after state lawmakers failed to advance a proposal to ensure a “just transition” after plants close. (Energy News Network)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority considers retiring a Tennessee coal plant that 12 years ago was the site of the nation’s worst-ever coal ash spill. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
As a proposal to keep a New Mexico power plant running with carbon capture technology runs into snags, its developers look to the Department of Energy for a $1 billion bailout. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS:
• U.S. Congress members prepare to introduce legislation to boost the biofuel industry, including through tax credits for producers of “flex fuel” vehicles and federal funding for more high-biofuel blend pumps. (Reuters)
• Biofuel groups once again step up their lobbying campaign to protect federal fuel-blending mandates as oil refiners and their allies reportedly push the Biden administration to ease some requirements. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE: Although some New York City mayoral candidates have plans to confront the climate crisis and the city has set major environmental goals, such policies aren’t likely to sway the primary elections today. (Inside Climate News)

COMMENTARY:
• Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Coons argues passing a bipartisan infrastructure package won’t prevent Congress from enacting more of President Biden’s clean energy agenda. (Washington Post)
• The only clear outcome from the proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill is that it wouldn’t increase federal fuel taxes — an “irrational” decision, an editorial board argues. (Washington Post)