GRID: Greater collaboration and grid connections between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will be critical for lowering costs as the continent transitions to clean energy, according to a new federal report. (news release; E&E News, subscription)

ALSO:
More than 5,000 homes lose power near Portland, Oregon, as temperatures shatter all-time records, while California grid operators ask customers to cut electricity use in the afternoons as a Pacific Northwest heat wave has yet to peak. (KOIN, KPIX, Washington Post)
• A federal infrastructure spending agreement reached between President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators includes $73 billion for grid infrastructure. (Utility Dive)

TRANSITION: A new report identifies hundreds of fossil fuel-dependent areas in the U.S. facing lost jobs and wages, a shrinking population and eroding tax bases amid the clean energy transition. (Inside Climate News)

POLITICS:
• Environmental groups pivot from influencing a major federal infrastructure bill to shaping an accompanying Democrat-only measure after President Biden agrees to a bipartisan proposal that omits many of their goals. (The Hill)
• An energy systems professor breaks down Biden’s attempt to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a reconciliation measure with more climate priorities. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS:
• The U.S. House votes to overturn a Trump administration rule that rolled back methane emission regulations in the oil and gas industries. (CNN)
• Lawmakers and regulators in the Southeast and Midwest explore regulatory changes after residents rack up billions of dollars in natural-gas bills due to a price surge stemming from Texas’ February blackouts. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of small oil refineries looking for exemptions to federal biofuel blending standards. (Reuters)

CARBON CAPTURE: Proposed carbon capture projects at U.S. coal plants in Illinois, Nebraska and North Dakota face financing challenges as the Biden administration focuses on using the technology at natural gas plants and other industrial facilities. (S&P Global)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: The EPA details how the first half of a $100 million fund for environmental justice projects will be spent, including education, rebates, and enforcement. (Axios)

CLIMATE: Oregon lawmakers pass a sweeping climate bill requiring utilities to completely cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 — one of the most aggressive clean energy timelines in the nation. (Salem Statesman Journal)

TRANSPORTATION:
Cape Cod launches its first plan to slash its greenhouse gas emissions, but reining in transportation emerges as a challenge for the sprawling, car-centric region. (Energy News Network)
A federal agency grants the Vermont Agency of Transportation and NJ Transit $1 million and $5.15 million, respectively, to buy electric buses. (VT Digger, NorthJersey.com)
Baltimore officials say a proposal to build a high-speed maglev train line doesn’t address equity, environmental justice and local community impact concerns. (Washington Post)

OVERSIGHT:
The Trump administration kept paying a pair of EPA employees after they were fired, a watchdog report finds. (Politico)
• A congressional panel will scrutinize a Puerto Rico power plant whose struggles with coal ash disposal, including a major spill, have attracted public attention. (E&E News, subscription)

FINANCE: A new manager at Virginia’s energy agency will help localities navigate the setup of green banks to accelerate and expand clean energy projects by leveraging limited public dollars to attract private capital. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY: A columnist argues deep geothermal drilling is an overlooked solution to cleanly heat homes, though it poses the same seismic risks as fracking. (Wall Street Journal)