GRID: Two federal regulatory agencies announce a joint inquiry into widespread power failures in Texas, as the state’s grid operator still does not know how long the outages will last. (S&P Global, Dallas Morning News)

While some politicians have been quick to exploit the outages to attack renewable energy, the reality is more complex, with coal, gas and nuclear failures comprising most of the lost capacity, and the state’s lack of incentives to winterize equipment and isolated power grid also playing a role. (Associated Press, Texas Tribune, Washington Post, Austin American-Statesman)
Analysts say the Texas event underscores the challenge of preparing the grid as climate change makes extreme weather events more common, and say a full suite of energy solutions, including distributed generation, will be needed to address the problem. (New York Times, MarketWatch)
Stress on the electric grid and accompanying blackouts could boost President Biden’s plans to make a “historic investment” in the electric grid as the administration prepares an infrastructure proposal. (Bloomberg, Politico)

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EQUITY: An Illinois utility’s microgrid project in a Chicago neighborhood highlights the challenges of aligning community and corporate goals, and could provide lessons for other collaborations. (Energy News Network)

The Energy Information Administration projects the U.S. will once again be a net importer of oil and gas by next year. (news release)
The Bureau of Land Management postpones a Wyoming oil and gas lease sale planned for March. (WyoFile)

Utilities in the Southeast are seeking federal approval to create a new wholesale market that could provide a boost for renewable energy. (E&E News)
Des Moines, Iowa, officials will need to work closely with and push MidAmerican Energy on renewable energy and storage to meet the city’s ambitious clean energy target, experts say. (Energy News Network)
A case in Minnesota pits Xcel Energy against environmental groups in a debate about the role of natural gas in the utility’s transition to net-zero emissions. (Inside Climate News)

SOLAR: Stakeholders praise the final release of regulations in Connecticut that revamp the state’s residential solar programs. (Energy News Network)

STORAGE: A report by two industry groups outlines ways utilities can make storage financially viable. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: IBM pledges it will eliminate or offset all of its carbon emissions by 2030. (The Hill)

A group of 13 Democratic and independent senators call on the Biden administration to use executive authority to electrify the federal vehicle fleet. (The Hill)
Ford says its vehicle offerings in Europe will be fully electric by 2030. (New York Times)
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy vows to spend $100 million on clean transportation, with much of it directed to urban areas to convert large vehicles like buses and trucks from diesel to electric. (NJ Spotlight)
Massachusetts expands rebates for electric vehicles to include medium- and heavy-duty trucks. (Boston Globe)

• An editorial board says increasing the federal gasoline tax, which has remained 18 cents a gallon since 1993, will be the strongest incentive for automakers to shift to electric. (Washington Post)
• Electric vehicle manufacturing is taking over in parts of Ohio and “creating new opportunities for economic development and innovation,” writes a Republican state senator. (Mahoning Matters)

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.