PUBLIC LANDS: The Biden administration suspends oil and gas leases on two tracts in the Arctic National Wildlife Area issued in the last days of the Trump administration as the Interior Department conducts an environmental analysis. (New York Times)

ALSO: 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)

HYDROPOWER: Oregon State University will begin construction this month on the first commercial-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site in the U.S. (news release)

SOLAR: Researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, find utility-scale solar installations in the Mojave Desert could harm rare plants. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:  
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposed merger with Avangrid, leaving a go-ahead from state regulators as the final hurdle. (Daily Energy Insider)
• The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday implemented a portfolio of new incentives that will reward Hawaiian Electric for meeting the state’s clean energy goals, integrating distributed generation, and modernizing its grid. (Star-Advertiser)
• Climate activists are challenging in court Montana utility regulators’ pre-approval of a proposed NorthWestern Energy natural gas plant. (Missoula Current)
• Two Washington utilities whose power lines sparked wildfires last year have chosen not to develop plans for power shutoffs that could avoid such incidents. (Seattle Times)

NATURAL GAS: In a recent panel discussion, officials from Nevada and Washington expressed skepticism that renewable natural gas and hydrogen are viable solutions to cut emissions. (S&P Global)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• PG&E says its pilot program to use electric vehicle charging as a grid resource is showing promising initial results. (Utility Dive)
• The Alaska Energy Authority is installing a chain of electric vehicle chargers along a 600-mile stretch of highway, but advocates say rate changes are necessary for the plan to work. (KTOO)
• A New Mexico electric cooperative is installing nine additional charging stations in and around Taos. (news release)

EFFICIENCY: The Nevada Legislature passed a bill that establishes new appliance efficiency standards. (news release)

CLIMATE: A University of Oregon study finds some climate change deniers are so entrenched in their beliefs that “even decades of continued warming may not be enough to convince them.” (news release)

COMMENTARY: A California professor argues California’s current rooftop solar policies hurt low-income utility customers. (Energy Institute at Haas)