POLITICS: In the final presidential debate, Joe Biden pledges to gradually transition the country from oil to renewable energy on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050. (Associated Press)

• Republicans sought to exploit Biden’s statement, which also drew rebuke from two Democratic congresswomen from oil-producing states. (Newsweek)
• Analysts said a transition to renewables is inevitable no matter who wins the White House, though Biden’s plan would add momentum. (MarketWatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The University of Minnesota Law, Policy, and Business Conference on Equity and Electrification of Transportation, Friday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., will discuss broader reforms to our transportation systems through the lens of law, policy, and business. Register here. ***

• Interviews and polling indicate Pennsylvania residents are not as infatuated with fracking as the presidential campaign’s attention would suggest, with the industry unpopular outside of drilling areas. (Daily Beast, Vox)
• Analysts say natural gas demand in the U.S. is reaching its peak sooner than anyone expected, and that the era of robust growth is likely over. (Bloomberg)
• North Dakota officials consider a plan to use $16 million in federal pandemic relief funds for hydraulic fracturing projects, which critics call “totally inappropriate.” (Bismarck Tribune)

• The new CEO of Orsted’s U.S. operations says he expects the company to employ 1,000 by the end of the decade. (Greentech Media)
• A coalition of free-market groups urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the federal wind production tax credit. (E&E News, subscription)

• A small Kansas town that rebuilt after a 2007 tornado with several clean energy projects provides a lesson for other communities. (Washington Post)
• An aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans as much as $321 billion in energy costs, according to a new report. (The Guardian)

TRANSPORTATION: A Vermont program to help low-income residents buy fuel-efficient vehicles is off to a slow start after it was delayed for months by the pandemic. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tennessee builds on this week’s announcement of a General Motors plant conversion to claim the title of the leading state for making electric cars. (Knoxville News-Sentinel, subscription)

• Arch Resources, the nation’s second-largest coal company, outlines plans to divest from electricity-generating thermal coal. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Coal plants, often heavy consumers of water resources, are expected to face risks from rising water stress and thus more pressure to close. (S&P Global)

EMISSIONS: Most cities that have pledged to meet goals in line with the Paris climate agreement are falling short or haven’t started to track local progress, according to a Brookings Institution report. (E&E News, subscription)

CARBON: California has an opportunity to lead the development of carbon capture technologies if it takes the right policy actions, according to a new report. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES: A memo from a court-appointed monitor says PG&E’s wildfire prevention efforts prioritized work on the easiest stretches of power lines instead of those in the highest risk areas. (Courthouse News Service)

• A Pennsylvania appeals court rules that state regulators do not have to release calculations of a potential blast zone for the Mariner East pipeline, citing confidential security rules. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)
• A natural gas company that once owned the Mountain Valley Pipeline wants to sell off its capacity in the project, which is running two years behind and $2 billion over budget. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COMMENTARY: Environmental attorneys say it is “hard to overstate how transformative” New York’s 2019 climate law will be as some of its first benchmarks in creating its plan come due. (Bloomberg)

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.