• The EPA is withdrawing a request for oil and gas drillers to provide regulators with information about methane emissions, undermining an Obama-era climate change initiative. (Washington Post)
• Analysts say U.S. gasoline demand is expected to peak next year as engines become more efficient, while global demand is set to peak as early as 2021. (Reuters)
• Researchers have identified over 60 species of fish that were not been previously known to be in the Gulf on Mexico thanks to funding stemming from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Quartz)

• The Senate approves former Texas governor Rick Perry as Energy secretary in a 62-37 vote. (Texas Tribune)
• Rick Perry’s testimony before the Senate differed sharply from statements he made in a 2010 book. (Greenwire)

• President Trump’s advisers are fiercely divided on whether to initiate the four-year process to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. (New York Times)
• Chevron is the first major oil company to warn its investors that climate change lawsuits pose a financial risk. (ThinkProgress)

• Over 1,000 gallons of sulfuric acid is found leaking outside a nuclear plant in Michigan. (Associated Press)
• Georgia Power tells state regulators it will suspend plans to build a nuclear plant due to a lack of demand for new nuclear generation, but critics are blaming the decision on Toshiba’s financial meltdown. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

BIOFUEL: A coalition of 15 trade groups write a letter urging EPA chief Scott Pruitt not to tweak the country’s biofuels program, following rumors that the Trump administration plans to shift the onus of blending biofuels into gasoline away from refiners. (Reuters)

BIOGAS: Biodigesters that process manure while producing useful byproducts could help Wisconsin bring more biogas to the market. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla wants to double its fast-charging sites in North America this year, creating a total count of over 5,000 charging stations. (Utility Dive)

• Lawmakers in Oklahoma and other western states are trying to reduce subsidies and impose new taxes on wind power. (Climatewire)
Renewable energy production surges in Maine thanks to two new wind farms, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the state’s total electricity production in December. (Portland Press Herald)

• IKEA will install the largest rooftop solar project in Illinois on its new Midwest distribution center. (Yale Climate Connections)
• A Florida utility selects sites for eight new solar plants which are expected to be among the lowest-cost solar ever built in the U.S. on a per-megawatt basis. (South Florida Business Journal)
• A Republican lawmaker shelves a bill to abolish the current net-metering system in Kentucky following complaints from solar industry advocates. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: A New York utility unveils a “storage on demand” pilot project that moves trailers full of lithium-ion batteries to different substations based on the needs of the electrical network. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: Three companies are planning to build a 730-mile crude oil pipeline across Texas that could be operational by early 2019. (FuelFix)

EPA: EPA chief Scott Pruitt calls on a group of mayors to help identify EPA programming that is beneficial to their communities, saying he wants to protect certain agency programs from budget cuts. (Greenwire)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: House Science Committee chair Lamar Smith is expanding a subpoena to New York and Massachusetts attorneys general to include documents related to the states’ work on protecting the Clean Power Plan. (ThinkProgress)

• Slashing the EPA’s budget and staff would cripple environmental safeguards and threaten the health of millions of Americans, says a senior writer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Huffington Post)
• Environmental regulations can have short-term employment effects, but there is no consistent evidence that they cause long-term changes in overall employment, says an energy writer at Vox.
• The Trump administration’s EPA cuts are an excuse to reduce environmental enforcement, not a means of saving money, according to a communications director at Environmental Defense Fund. (Huffington Post)

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