OVERSIGHT: Rioters who trashed file cabinets in a Senate office on Jan. 6 may have inadvertently derailed three Trump administration pollution rules, including a widely criticized policy for aircraft emissions. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
The Biden Administration faces a dilemma as evidence builds of human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region, which supplies half of the world’s supply of polysilicon, a key ingredient in solar panels. (Bloomberg)
The president of the AFL-CIO calls on the White House to stop imports of solar products from Xinjiang, saying there is “convincing evidence of systemic forced labor” in the region. (Reuters)
• California’s three largest investor-owned utilities file a joint proposal with state regulators that would lead to new connection charges and lower compensation for customers with rooftop solar. (Bloomberg)

***SPONSORED LINK: 2021 IPF Registration is now open! This year, IPF will be both in-person and virtual. IPF Together will be held August 24-26 in Richmond, VA (space is limited due to COVID guidelines). IPF Virtual will be taking place April 22, May 13, and June 17. Learn more and register today!*** 

JOBS:
• Despite a record year for wind and solar installations, thousands of clean-energy workers are still unemployed as residential installers continue to struggle. (E&E News)
• A Minnesota solar energy pioneer is partnering with Black entrepreneurs in Minneapolis on a residential rooftop solar plan that will also train neighborhood residents for clean energy jobs. (Energy News Network)

GRID: A new report indicates that California must accelerate solar, wind, and battery storage permitting and construction if it is to achieve its mandate of a 100% clean energy grid by 2045. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• United Auto Workers officials criticize Ford over plans to build electric vehicles at a Mexico plant rather than in Ohio. (Reuters)
• Ford officials urge Congress to increase tax incentives and other federal funding for electric vehicle technology. (Detroit News)
• Recent research predicts that electric heavy-duty trucks will be 50% cheaper to operate than their diesel counterparts by 2030. (Forbes)
• Volkswagen has started delivering its new electric SUV to dealers in the U.S. (Forbes)

COAL:
• The Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act would set a closure date for the state’s largest coal plant, but it wouldn’t provide financial relief for customers and cities locked into long-term contracts for the power. (Energy News Network)
• Democratic senators introduce a bill to lighten the burden of proof for families of miners who die from black lung disease to access benefits. (Associated Press)

TEXAS:
At least 57 people died — most of them from hypothermia — during last month’s winter storm and resulting power outages in Texas, according to state health department data. (Texas Tribune)
• The last of the three members on the board that regulates Texas’ state grid resigns at the governor’s request. (Texas Tribune)

OHIO: A lobbyist who had pleaded not guilty to his alleged role in a bribery scheme involving Ohio’s power plant bailout law is found dead in Florida. (WOSU)

OIL & GAS:
The Interior Department says it will publish monthly data on federal drilling permits. (E&E News, subscription)
Federal and state officials probe a whistleblower’s allegations that a pipeline to serve an ethane cracker plant in western Pennsylvania is installed with improper corrosion protections. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

POLITICS: The Interior Department has removed tweets seen as overtly promoting former President Trump’s re-election campaign, but the posts will be preserved as public records. (E&E News)

CLIMATE: The Defense Department reckons with its own emissions footprint while becoming more acutely aware of the national security risks from climate change. (Christian Science Monitor)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers in Ohio and New York are developing coatings that could make PV cells used for solar power last six times longer while reducing system costs. (Centered)

COMMENTARY: An energy researcher explores whether hydrogen and biogas can make existing natural gas infrastructure more climate-friendly. (Scientific American)

Ken Paulman

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.