GRID: While Texas and California have taken different paths on energy, the states have a “shared dilemma” as extreme weather events have pushed their infrastructure to the brink. (Politico)

ALSO:
• The energy crisis in Texas was years in the making, say experts, who point to extensive deregulation and its standalone electric grid as primary factors that set the state up for disaster. (Bloomberg, New York Times)
• Texas officials are accused of ignoring warnings in the days, months and years before last week’s power grid collapse. (Associated Press)
• “We’re not prepared for this”: A Texas Republican defends the state’s independent grid but says the state needs to heed 2011 warnings to winterize infrastructure. (Politico)

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UTILITIES:
• Customers of a Texas energy provider that indexes to wholesale power prices saw their bills soar during the outages, with one customer seeing $16,752 billed to his credit card. (New York Times)
• Following widespread reports of soaring utility bills, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says state regulators will order a pause to billing, and issue a temporary moratorium on disconnections. (Reuters)
• A federal judge accepts a felony racketeering guilty plea from a political action committee connected to the scandal involving Ohio’s power plant bailout law. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE:
• Do we really have “nine years left” to address climate change? Scientists parse John Kerry’s statement and say if anything, he’s understating the problem. (Washington Post)
• The Biden administration is taking steps to increase the federal social cost of carbon, but advocates say the figure being considered isn’t high enough. (Inside Climate News)
• Through efficiency and density provisions, Washington state lawmakers are hoping to address the climate change and housing affordability crises simultaneously. (Investigate West)
• Maryland releases a climate action plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045,14 months later than directed by the legislature. (Maryland Matters)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• Some Republican Senators say President Biden’s Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland, whose confirmation hearing begins tomorrow, is unlikely to secure their support due to her opposition to fracking and stance on other issues. (Bloomberg)
Indigenous leaders hope that Haaland, who would be the first Native American cabinet secretary, will give tribal governments a stronger voice in energy siting decisions. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: The Energy Department is reviewing Trump-era rollbacks of efficiency rules on light bulbs, showerheads and other products. (The Hill)

COAL: A third-generation, family-owned coal equipment company in southwest Virginia shifts its business to serve the energy storage industry. (Energy News Network)

EMISSIONS: Duluth, Minnesota, continues to reduce emissions from downtown buildings as it expands a redesigned district heating system after converting boilers from coal to natural gas. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma regulators suspend fracking operations after an earthquake in the northern part of the state. (E&E News, subscription)
• State data shows Texas refineries released hundreds of tons of pollution as they scrambled to shut down during last week’s cold snap. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla recently filed for permits for new construction at its Fremont, California plant, in contrast to CEO Elon Musk’s threats to leave the state for Texas. (Los Angeles Times)

NUCLEAR: Documents show the Trump administration’s creation of a federal uranium reserve in December followed years of lobbying and campaign contributions from mining companies. (Salt Lake Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• Climate writer Naomi Klein says Republicans’ quickness to blame Green New Deal proposals for Texas’ grid crisis reflects a deeper existential crisis as free-market doctrines continue to fail. (New York Times)
• A Native American veteran and former California official explains why Rep. Deb Haaland’s confirmation as Interior Secretary “would be a significant milestone for Indian Country.” (Indian Country Today)

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.