FRACKING: Amid legal challenges to a 2010 fracking moratorium, the Delaware River Basin Commission votes to make the ban permanent, making a large portion of the Marcellus Shale off-limits to drilling. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

ALSO:
A commission member representing the federal government abstains from voting, citing “additional time needed to coordinate with the new administration.” (E&E News, subscription)
New Jersey advocates say the decision is at odds with a recent commission vote to approve a natural gas export terminal, which they vow to continue fighting. (NJ Spotlight)

PIPELINES: Pennsylvania regulators order Sunoco to pay $497,000 in fines for violations related to the Mariner East 2 pipeline. (The Sentinel)

EQUITY: A Maryland bill would ban new power plants from being built in a majority-Black county outside Washington D.C. that is already home to a large number of industrial sites. (Maryland Matters)

HYDROGEN: Fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power announces plans for a $290 million hydrogen production facility in western New York. (Albany Times Union)

WIND: Connecticut’s attorney general announces an investigation into a $700,000 payment made by the state’s port authority to the firm hired to find an operator for the State Pier, which is eyed as a future offshore wind hub. (The Day)

TRANSMISSION:
A Maine lawmaker sponsors a bill to guarantee community benefits from transmission lines, saying it “ensures that Maine ratepayers won’t be a cheap date” for future projects. (WGME)
Construction begins on an $854 million transmission line in upstate New York that aims to improve access to renewable energy resources. (news release)

SOLAR: A developer completes a 1.3 MW solar carport project at an Ikea store in Baltimore. (Solar Power World)

UTILITIES:
A new program will help New Hampshire residents with unpaid utility bills. (Associated Press)
New Hampshire lawmakers consider a bill to strengthen consumer protections related to third-party energy suppliers. (Daily Energy Insider)
An upstate New York utility will be the first to pilot a new “Smart Operations Center” aimed to improve grid reliability. (news release)

TRANSPORTATION: A Massachusetts bill would increase the gasoline tax 12 cents and eliminate transit fares in the Boston area. (CommonWealth Magazine)

DIVESTMENT: Harvard University reports it has purged the majority of fossil-fuel investments from its endowment portfolio, following a pledge made last year. (Harvard Magazine)

COMMENTARY:
A Connecticut advocate says a pipeline to supply the proposed Killingly natural gas plant poses a threat to wildlife and water quality, while a law student says the plant will provide no benefit to state residents. (CT Mirror)
A Maine resident says a lack of fairness is driving opposition to the Clean Energy Connect project, while a forester touts the jobs the project will create. (Kennebec Journal) 

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.