GRID: A federal lab’s study outlining the massive potential benefits of stronger connections between regional power grids ignited a political firestorm within the Trump administration, which prohibited the authors from presenting or even discussing their work outside their office. (The Atlantic/InvestigateWest)

ALSO: Connecticut’s top utility regulator says extended outages after a recent tropical storm show the urgency of grid modernization, an effort she has championed for several months. (Energy News Network)

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OIL & GAS:
• Seattle’s gas supplier helped orchestrate a sophisticated “wall of opposition” to a city council plan to ban future gas hookups in new buildings — part of a broader industry pattern of opposing local climate actions. (The Guardian)
• The Trump administration is under pressure to complete its Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas lease sale before Inauguration Day. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: The legal dispute over the Dakota Access pipeline is set to ramp up again as two separate federal court cases proceed. (S&P Global)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• General Motors’ plan to install 2,700 electric vehicle fast-charging stations underscores the difficulty of building an electric fueling network. (E&E News)
• Electric bikes are seeing a major spike in sales that started before the pandemic but has sharply accelerated since March. (Axios)
• Teslas made up more than 80% of electric vehicle sales in the first half of 2020. (CNET)

COAL: A West Virginian who founded a company that helps miners find work in stable industries talks about expanding Applachia’s post-coal economy, especially after the coronavirus pandemic. (Grist) 

EMISSIONS: Monthly U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in April were the lowest in decades, a result of sudden changes in consumption from lockdowns and the shift to work from home and distance learning. (Today in Energy)

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POLITICS:
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposes ratemaking reforms and clamping down on utilities’ political contributions in the wake of a bribery scandal: “Their days of outsized influence on the process are ending.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
• A former chair of the Texas Public Utility Commission discusses competitive power markets and how Texas, dominated by Republican politicians, became a renewable energy leader. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Citibank’s CEO says banks must be willing to have frank conversations about reducing emissions — and have the courage to walk away when clients won’t commit to a low-carbon future. (CNN)

Dan Haugen

Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.