OIL & GAS: The Interior Department pauses oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental review, reversing a last-minute Trump administration decision. (Politico)

ALSO:
• Alaska’s governor and congressional delegation condemns the suspension, while environmental advocates call on the Biden administration to make the stoppage permanent. (news release, Common Dreams)
• State lawmakers around the country are using the natural gas industry’s talking points to defend the fossil fuel, documents show. (E&E News)
• Congressional lawmakers from Texas and North Dakota call for a national orphaned well program to clean up the tens of thousands of abandoned wells. (E&E News, subscription)
• The growth potential of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin and the protective posture of Texas’ state government threaten President Joe Biden’s energy goals. (Vox)

PIPELINES:
• U.S. counties whose populations are most vulnerable to health effects from environmental and other external stress also have the highest density of natural gas pipelines, researchers find. (North Carolina Health News)
• A federal judge rules that even though President Biden canceled a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a future president could reinstate the project. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID:
A private company takes over Puerto Rico’s grid from an island-owned power authority after years of corruption, mismanagement, and ongoing blackouts. (Associated Press)
• Climate change will compound extreme weather risks to the grid, experts warn the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (RTO Insider, subscription)
• Massachusetts activists urge the municipal power procurement nonprofit behind a planned natural gas power plant to consider whether battery storage could do the job with fewer climate concerns. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• The oil and gas industry’s increasing investments in clean energy won’t get the world on track to hit net-zero emissions by 2050, an International Energy Agency report indicates. (Bloomberg)
• Corporate purchasers continue to drive large-scale wind and solar projects across the U.S. (S&P Global)

COAL:
Bankruptcies that could result in a new wave of mass mine abandonment endanger President Biden’s promise to reinvigorate coal communities. (E&E News)
• PSEG retires a 400 MW coal-fired generating unit in Connecticut, leaving just one coal-fired plant in New England. (S&P Global)

PUBLIC LANDS: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland becomes a focal point for Native Americans hopeful for change at an agency once tasked to “civilize or exterminate” Indigenous people. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Tennessee pledges $60 million toward General Motors and LG Energy Solutions’ electric vehicle battery plant. (Nashville Business Journal, subscription)
• PG&E says its pilot program to use electric vehicle charging as a grid resource is showing promising initial results. (Utility Dive)

OFFSHORE WIND: A Texas shipyard will build a $500 million turbine installation vessel for Eversource Energy and Ørsted to use for two planned Northeast wind farms. (Boston Globe)

POLICY: Adopting any of three major climate policies in Ohio could help society avoid up to $1 trillion in costs over the next three decades, a recent analysis finds. (Energy News Network)

BIOFUELS: The largest U.S. biofuels producer will boost its ethanol production capacity by 40% after acquiring another producer. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to consistently reject pipeline projects that don’t align with clean energy goals, and it may take a change in the board’s membership to make that happen, two policy integrity attorneys write. (Canary Media)