EQUITY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will create a senior environmental justice position to ensure energy projects do not unfairly burden minority communities. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
• At the first meeting of the new National Climate Task Force, the Biden administration announces a $100 million fund to support low-carbon energy technologies. (New York Times, Reuters)
• White House adviser Gina McCarthy says more executive orders on climate may be in the works: “There is nothing that is off the table.” (E&E News)
• The Massachusetts undersecretary for climate policy resigns after comments he made at a conference about how residents would need to change their behavior to reduce emissions. (WBUR)

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EPA:
• Environmental groups sue the EPA over a Trump administration decision to not pursue tougher smog standards. (The Hill)
• At the unveiling of his official portrait, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he defended the agency’s mission when Donald Trump suggested shutting it down entirely shortly after he was elected. (E&E News)

TRANSMISSION:
• FERC chair Richard Glick says a decade-old order has failed to produce a single regional transmission line, and says the agency will seek ways to incentivize new infrastructure. (S&P Global)
• A federal effort to expand interstate transmission lines would likely face political opposition from conservative states. (E&E News)

UTILITIES:
• Experts say power utilities can learn security lessons from the recent hack of a Florida water treatment plant. (Utility Dive)
• Tri-State Generation and Transmission CEO Duane Highley says the company’s rapid transformation in recent years shows that Colorado is at the “tip of the spear” in the transition to clean energy. (Denver Post)

ELECTRIFICATION: A poll finds Americans are more likely to support bans on new natural gas hookups than oppose them, but many are reluctant to consider parting with gas stoves. (Morning Consult)

SOLAR:
• Texas generated 75% more solar power in January than it did in all of 2015, as the industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Central Maine Power blames mid-level engineers for sending much higher cost estimates to solar developers without proper review by senior management. (Portland Press Herald)
• While utilities often maintain solar customers are unfairly subsidized, a new analysis from a Michigan researcher reaches the opposite conclusion. (Renewable Energy World)

OIL & GAS:
• Royal Dutch Shell says its oil production peaked in 2019, and expects it will fall another 55% by 2030. (E&E News, subscription)
• The Biden administration delays a Trump-era rule that would cut lease payments for drilling on public lands. (The Hill)

PIPELINES: The uncertain fate of the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac brings urgency to the debate over how to heat homes in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where many residents rely on propane from the pipeline. (Energy News Network) 

MEDIA: Advocates note that while Facebook has been blocking ads on “social issues, elections or politics” including environmental messages, it is still allowing ads from pipeline developer Enbridge. (Earther)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The future is uncertain for automotive workers who build parts for internal combustion vehicles as car companies begin to shift to electric models. (Associated Press)
A California congressman introduces a bill to create a tax credit of up to $1,500 for e-bike purchases. (Cycling Weekly)

COMMENTARY:
A Wyoming advocate says “coal communities have been on the front lines in building and powering America, and there’s no reason they can’t continue to be.” (WyoFile)
Efficiency advocates say the Massachusetts climate law should be embraced by the building and construction industries as the standards it codifies have been successful in lowering costs elsewhere. (CommonWealth Magazine)

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.