• A year-long Interior Department report on the federal coal leasing program recommends that the royalty rate on coal mined from public land be increased, but the ultimate decision will be made by Donald Trump’s administration. (The Hill)
• A bill introduced in Kentucky would give state utilities burning Kentucky coal a tax credit of $2 per ton of coal purchased. (Platts)
• A federal judge orders the U.S. EPA to determine whether actions taken under the Obama administration directly resulted in coal industry job losses. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)

• Protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline are transitioning to local efforts in multiple states. (Associated Press)
• Enbridge Inc. could face a tough legal challenge should it fight to keep a 64-year-old pipeline on tribal lands in Wisconsin after a Native American tribe voted against renewing land use agreements. (Reuters)

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EMISSIONS: Volkswagen will plead guilty to criminal misconduct and pay a $4.3 billion settlement over its diesel emissions scandal. (Reuters)

BIOFUEL: The company Genscape says it will fight an EPA order revoking its authority to verify biofuels compliance credits under the U.S. renewable fuels program – a decision made to penalize the company for failing to detect a massive fraud. (Reuters)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: New York will attempt to keep emissions down by replacing a major nuclear plant with renewable energy. (Nexus Media)

• The city of Las Vegas began powering all of its government and municipal buildings with solar power because it makes economic sense. (Greentech Media)
• A new 40-megawatt solar plant in Arizona will sell power to Arizona State University and PayPal Inc. (Phoenix Business Journal)
• A bill introduced in California this week would require new buildings in the state to be equipped with solar panels. (Pacific Standard)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Mayors from four West Coast cities are inviting automakers to provide electric vehicles for their municipal fleets, which could total up to 24,000 vehicles. (NGT News)

• Former Exxon CEO and secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson acknowledges that “the risk of climate change does exist,” but skirts questions linked to Exxon during his Senate confirmation hearing. (Washington Post)
• A Superior Court judge in Massachusetts orders Exxon Mobil to hand over documents related to a state investigation into what the company knew about climate climate change. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the dormant Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada can’t be revived because it lacks support from state officials. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

POLICY: Outgoing Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announces a new “scientific integrity” policy for the Department of Energy, following concerns over how Donald Trump’s administration will treat employees who worked on climate change. (Washington Post)

POLITICS: Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, failed to disclose oil lease income in federally mandated financial reports. (ThinkProgress)

UTILITIES: Minnesota’s second biggest utility is decreasing output at its largest coal plant and shifting to more economical wind and natural gas. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: President Obama’s optimism about the future of clean energy is more hopeful than realistic. (Vox)

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