EFFICIENCY: A controversial change to North Carolina’s building energy code remains on the table despite a budget review that could prolong its adoption by up to a year. (Energy News Network)

OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Senate confirms former North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan as the next administrator of the U.S. EPA. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and connect with other energy industry professionals at the 2021 State Energy (Virtual) Conference of North Carolina, April 19-22. Learn more and register at www.NCenergyconference.com.*** 

POLITICS: Duke Energy, clean energy groups, and other stakeholders in North Carolina are reportedly meeting behind closed doors, hammering out details for major energy legislation that could be revealed this session. (WRAL)

WOOD PELLETS:
• Court documents reveal a company’s “jenga tower of alter egos” allegedly designed to shield it from responsibility as it left Utah to build a wood pellet plant in Lumberton, North Carolina. (NC Policy Watch)
• The Southern Environmental Law Center sued the company’s subsidiaries yesterday for illegally polluting the Lumber River. (news release) 

OIL & GAS: After a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled the eastern half of Oklahoma is tribal reservation land, Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed a commission to help the state navigate the court decision that is stacked with oil and gas insiders and has no Indigenous voices. (The Intercept)

PIPELINES: “It is insulting.” Memphis property owners react to eminent domain lawsuits filed against them by the Byhalia Pipeline company. (Local24)

COAL:
• A West Virginia Senate committee signs off on a watered-down version of a bill to prop up the struggling coal industry, dropping a requirement that power producers maintain 2019 coal consumption levels. (Gazette-Mail)
• The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians says it wants a voice in the debate over coal ash removal from an Alabama power plant. (Alabama Political Reporter)

GRID:
• Southeast lawmakers and state regulators are pressing utility executives about the threat extreme weather could pose to the region’s electric grid. (E&E News)
• Attorneys for Texas’ largest county tell a judge the state’s power grid operator shouldn’t be able to claim government immunity from lawsuits. (Bloomberg)
• A Texas homeowner says his solar-and-battery-powered home produced enough electricity to share with neighbors during last month’s outages. (KPRC2) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Florida legislative committee advances a bill that would create a grant program to help state agencies and local governments plan and install charging stations, paid for by a fee on electric vehicle registrations. (WFSU)
• The Arkansas House unanimously approves a bill exempting veterans and military members from state fees on electric and hybrid vehicle registrations. (Democrat Gazette)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation write to federal regulators urging them to expedite offshore wind development in coastal Virginia. (Riviera)
• A Hampton Roads group commissions an offshore wind supply chain study to identify key economic opportunities in southeastern Virginia. (Renew.biz)
• Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appoints several people to the state’s offshore wind development authority. (WAVY)

CLEAN ENERGY: A law school’s analysis finds more than 100 cities, counties and states have enacted ordinances restricting renewable energy development, including in Oklahoma where fossil fuel groups funded an opposition campaign. (E&E News) 

***SPONSORED LINK: Check out the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast by NCSEA! Get a fresh take on North Carolina’s clean energy landscape with biweekly episodes. Available wherever you get your podcast or at: www.energync.org/podcast.***

EMISSIONS: A group of researchers begins to calculate the carbon footprint of underwater fiber optic cables, with part of the research taking place in Miami, a major hub for global internet traffic. (WLRN)

COMMENTARY:
• Clean car standards will make it easier to purchase cleaner vehicles in Virginia, producing a myriad of economic and health benefits, writes the transportation director for a business sustainability group. (Energy News Network)
• A Texas physician calls on local investors to help state and local government to accelerate the transition to electric school buses. (Austin Chronicle)
• An architect, a climate justice activist, and a former Charlotte, North Carolina mayor write that Duke Energy must do more to address climate change, which is disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities in the state. (QCity Metro) 

Dan Haugen

Dan Haugen

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.