GRID: In response to the Texas grid crisis, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick says “the effects of climate change are already apparent” and the agency will “do everything we can within our statutory authority” to ensure reliability. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Texas lawmakers and regulators repeatedly ignored, dismissed, or watered down efforts over the last decade to secure the state’s electric grid against extreme weather, public records show. (Texas Tribune/ProPublica)
• The Texas Division of Emergency Management warned of the risks of “widespread power outages” from winter weather in a 2018 report. (E&E News, subscription)
• A woman whose 11-year-old son died in last week’s freeze has filed a $100 million negligence lawsuit against Texas regulators and Entergy, saying the entities ignored 2011 federal recommendations to winterize infrastructure. (Reuters)
• Analysts say fallout from last week’s power outages — and misinformation about the role of renewables in the crisis — may hamper efforts to move Texas toward clean energy. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: “Achieve Your Renewable Goals With Geothermal” will be held virtually on March 3, and explore innovative ways for governments, industry, schools, utilities, and homeowners to use geothermal heat pumps to meet their renewable energy goals. There is no cost to attend. Register today.***

ELECTRIFICATION:
• Documents show the American Gas Association is actively involved in state-level bills to block municipal natural gas bans, despite denials to the contrary. (NPR)
• Energy researchers grapple with the question of whether electrifying homes puts people at greater risk in the event of power outages. (Grist)

PUBLIC LANDS: As her confirmation hearing for Interior secretary begins today, Rep. Deb Haaland’s opening remarks will emphasize equity and national unity. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE:
• A review of corporate climate pledges finds many are lacking details on implementations plans or how success will be tracked. (New York Times)
• An investor group backed by California’s teacher pension fund is pushing ExxonMobil to adopt a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. (Bloomberg)
A Maryland legislative committee approves a sweeping climate bill that would require the state to reduce emissions 60% by 2030. (Maryland Matters)

CLEAN ENERGY: Lima, Ohio — a city long tied to fossil fuel development — joins a statewide coalition that helps connect local governments with resources to facilitate clean energy projects. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: Regulators in multiple states are pushing utilities to modify their long-term plans to include more clean energy. (E&E News)

PIPELINES:
• Resolving an early disagreement over the Keystone XL pipeline will likely be a priority as President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold their first bilateral meeting. (Reuters)
• The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa asks pipeline protesters who are not band members to respect the tribe’s sovereignty after concerns over a potential explosive device related to Line 3. (Star Tribune)
Opposition ramps up against a proposed pipeline in Memphis as a coalition of celebrities, neighborhood groups and a congressman pressures President Biden to rescind a federal permit for the Byhalia Connection, which would run through largely Black neighborhoods. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

TRANSMISSION: The Maine Secretary of State validates enough signatures to put an anti-transmission line referendum on the fall ballot sought by opponents of a Central Maine Power project. (Bangor Daily News)

HEATING: Maine offers bonus rebates to small towns to encourage adoption of heat pumps in municipal buildings. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A nonprofit car-sharing program will launch this spring to expand access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in Minneapolis and St. Paul low-income neighborhoods. (Sahan Journal)

COMMENTARY: A columnist says the solutions to Texas’ grid crisis “are easy and obvious” if lawmakers can admit that free-market ideology was the problem. (Houston Chronicle)

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.