INFRASTRUCTURE: Hurricane Ida took down transmission lines and substations and left millions without electricity, driving Congressional Democrats’ case for a federal infrastructure bill that would fund major grid upgrades and climate resilience measures. (Bloomberg, E&E News)

GRID:
• More than 200,000 customers in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and New England lost power last night as Ida, now a tropical depression, brought strong winds and rain to the region. (PennLive, Pix11, NBC Boston)
Roughly a million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi still had no electricity Wednesday and more than 600,000 people lacked running water as power began to be restored. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• The National Weather Service issued New York City and New Jersey’s first flash flood emergencies last night amid severe rainfall from Ida; at least eight deaths have been reported in the area. (New York Times, Politico)
• Federal and Louisiana officials struggle to develop evacuation plans in the face of rapidly moving, increasingly intense storms driven by climate change. (NOLA.com)
• Climate change-driven disasters have become more frequent and more expensive over the past 50 years, though improvements in early warning systems have helped prevent deaths, a World Meteorological Organization report finds. (Reuters)
• U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is in China this week to discuss major climate measures, but disputes over trade, security and human rights may stand in the way of action. (New York Times)
• Advocates want President Biden to replace Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell with a climate-focused candidate when his term ends next year. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Aerial images show what appears to be a miles-long oil slick near an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida, while a telltale rainbow sheen is visible near Louisiana port facilities, oil refineries and shipyards. (Associated Press)
• Environmental activists gathered in Michigan yesterday to call on the Canadian government to withdraw its support for the Line 5 pipeline. (Michigan Radio)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Researchers and advocates say Appalachia’s clean energy transition must address not just the legacy of extractive industries like coal mining and petroleum drilling, but also systemic racism throughout Ohio’s cities and rural areas. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR: The first community choice solar program in the U.S. that automatically signs up a whole municipality for solar power goes into effect in two upstate New York towns. (PV Magazine)

TRANSPORTATION: A vehicle electrification kit manufacturer plans to open a 300-employee production facility in Gilbert, Arizona. (Phoenix Business Journal) 

PUBLIC LANDS: Researchers from a Montana free-market environmental group propose allowing groups to purchase federal oil and gas or grazing leases or stake mining claims for “non-use” in order to conserve the land. (E&E News)

UTILITIES: A Colorado consumer watchdog agency retools to represent the public in conflicts with utilities on issues such as climate change, just transitions and environmental justice. (Colorado Sun)