TRANSITION: President-elect Biden is expected to name former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as Energy Secretary. (Politico)

ALSO:
Biden has named former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to oversee domestic climate policy, and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg to lead the Department of Transportation. (The Hill, CNN)
New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland is emerging as a top pick for Secretary of the Interior and would be the first Native American to lead the agency. (Reuters)

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CYBERSECURITY: A massive software hack this year that affected federal agencies may have also breached national energy labs and utilities. (Washington Post, E&E News)

CLIMATE:
The Federal Reserve’s board votes unanimously to join a global network of central banks working to protect the financial system from climate change impacts. (New York Times)
A new study outlines steps the U.S. will need to take to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. (Washington Post)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest budget includes a new climate change package which includes a low-carbon fuel standard, equity requirements, and other provisions. (Seattle Times)

EFFICIENCY: The Energy Department rolls back efficiency standards for showerheads and creates a new class for washers and dryers, responding to years of complaints by President Trump. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to vote today on a new rule requiring oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. (Houston Chronicle)
A coalition of environmental and Indigenous groups petition a federal court to stop the Trump administration’s “headlong rush” to issue drilling leases in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. (E&E News)
Wyoming officials release a report claiming a drilling ban on federal lands would cost eight Western states $8.1 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
Illinois incentives for small solar installations officially ran out this week, creating long-expected uncertainty for the industry as developers call on lawmakers for at least a short-term fix. (Energy News Network)
• An Alaska Native company is set to begin construction on a solar battery project in two Northwest Arctic communities next spring. (KTOO)

WIND: The Interior Department reverses a previous ruling to set a stricter standard for offshore wind development where it might interfere with other uses like fishing. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL: A new report warns that Dominion Energy and southwestern Virginia officials should prepare now for a likely early closure of an underperforming, 8-year-old hybrid coal plant or risk damaging the regional economy. (Energy News Network)

NUCLEAR: The former CEO of defunct South Carolina utility SCANA will plead guilty to federal conspiracy fraud charges involving the 2017 failure of a $9 billion nuclear project. (The State)

TRANSMISSION:
“If you love renewables, you better love transmission,” a MISO executive says as the grid operator anticipates large-scale transmission projects in the coming years. (RTO Insider, subscription)
Outside groups have spent $3.7 million to continue the dispute over a Central Maine Power transmission line after a court ruled an anti-power line ballot referendum unconstitutional over the summer. (Bangor Daily News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Spokane, Washington’s city council president is pushing the city’s police department to adopt electric vehicles and faces resistance despite an analysis showing the change would save thousands of dollars. (Spokesman-Review)

COMMENTARY:
A climate policy advocate outlines ways the Biden administration can overcome resistance to transmission upgrades needed to quickly advance renewable energy. (Forbes)
The Blackjewel coal bankruptcy has reached a pivotal point that will determine the fate of communities and the company’s former employees, write two staffers of an environmental and community advocacy group. (Appalachian Voices)

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.