CLIMATE: The Biden administration is expected to announce a “Buy Clean Task Force” today aimed at procuring low-emissions materials for federal agencies, along with hydrogen and carbon capture initiatives. (New York Times)

ALSO:
A new report reveals which U.S. private equity firms are reaping the most profits from fossil fuels; while another study finds that many banks that have made net-zero pledges are still funding the coal industry. (The Guardian, CNN)
Multiple reports recently have questioned corporate climate pledges, which rely heavily on offsets. (The Hill)
Researchers find climate change is largely responsible for the last two decades being the Southwest’s driest in 1,200 years. (New York Times)

OVERSIGHT: Newly released documents show Ohio’s former top utility regulator, who is linked to a $4 million payout from FirstEnergy, directed his agency to limit its response to accusations the company spent ratepayer funds to lobby for power plant bailouts. (Eye on Ohio/Energy News Network)

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UTILITIES:
• A report by Missouri regulators finds natural gas utility Spire misled customers and “created unnecessary panic and confusion” when it warned of supply shortages if a gas pipeline was shut down. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• As Exelon transitions to a primarily transmission and distribution utility, a top executive says the company plans to speed up its net-zero emissions target. (E&E News)

GRID:
• New appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are expected to help push the agency on clean energy, including finding ways to address interconnection backlogs. (Inside Climate News)
• Minnesota regulators direct Xcel Energy to start evaluating multiple applications at once to help clear a backlog of solar projects seeking to connect to the grid. (Energy News Network)
• A judge asks attorneys to choose five “test cases” to advance among the 174 wrongful-death, personal injury and property damage lawsuits filed in the wake of Texas’ 2021 winter storm and power outages. (Houston Chronicle)

MATERIALS: The Department of Energy is exploring a facility to extract nickel, cobalt and other materials critical to clean energy technology from fossil fuel waste. (CNN)

BIOFUELS: A new study partially funded by the Department of Energy finds that ethanol is at least 24% more carbon intensive than gasoline. (Reuters)

HYDROGEN: New Mexico lawmakers kill a last ditch, scaled-back hydrogen booster bill opposed by environmentalists because the fuel would be produced from methane. (Santa Fe New Mexican)   

COAL: An investigation finds that four years after Pennsylvania officials announced $3 million in grants to retrain laid-off coal workers, not a single worker has been able to participate. (WTAE)

ELECTRIFICATION: New York City public housing officials kick off a small pilot program through which some residents will receive induction stoves to improve their inside air quality. (The City)

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.