POLITICS: As Democrats finalize their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, power industry trade groups want a proposed clean electricity payment program to take into account that some utilities have further to go than others to phase out fossil fuels. (S&P Global)

ALSO:
• Oil producers step up lobbying to preserve a tax deduction on drilling costs that some Democrats have targeted for repeal as part of the reconciliation bill. (The Hill)
Progressive Democrats plan to use the reconciliation process to halt drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reform the oil and gas leasing program and strengthen environmental reviews, according to internal documents. (E&E News)
• North Carolina regulators tighten rules around political spending by Duke Energy and other utilities, saying the companies cannot recover political spending costs from ratepayers but can spend profits on lobbying, political contributions, and PR-boosting ads. (Energy News Network) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Supply shortages and funding roadblocks are delaying the Biden administration’s plans to electrify federal vehicles. (E&E News)
• The new CEO of embattled Lordstown Motors says his top priority is ensuring the company’s Endurance pickup truck is successfully launched. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• A CO2 pipeline leak in Mississippi sickened dozens of people last year and raises questions about a planned buildout of pipelines for carbon capture. (HuffPost)
• Advocates in a historic Black farming community in Illinois are opposing plans to bring more natural gas to the area, saying the state should pursue renewable energy instead. (Grist)

GRID: A new subsidiary of Tesla files paperwork with state regulators to sell electricity on Texas’ retail market. (Texas Monthly, CNBC)

CLIMATE:
• A secret recording of an Exxon lobbyist admitting the company spent millions on “shadow groups” to undermine climate science is submitted as a brief in a Minnesota climate change lawsuit. (E&E News)
• Global measures of human health tied to climate declined dramatically in 2020 as the world faced near-record heat and an unprecedented spike of methane in the atmosphere, a U.S. report finds. (Washington Post)

SOLAR: A solar industry trade group says the federal government should only require solar panel importers to audit for labor abuses with polysilicon producers but not upstream raw material producers. (S&P Global)

WIND: A lawsuit filed by Nantucket residents against Vineyard Wind is supported by one of former President Donald Trump’s environmental advisors. (E&E News) 

COAL:
Alabama regulators sue a coal company owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice for repeatedly violating federal air pollution regulations and failing to make needed repairs to limit “visible emissions.” (E&E News)
A Colorado Springs power plant will stop burning coal this week and shift to natural gas until its closure at the end of next year. (Colorado Public Radio)

UTILITIES: New Mexico environmental and civic groups seek an investigation into the state attorney general’s alleged conflicts of interest relating to the proposed merger of Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid. (Capital & Main)

COMMENTARY: David Roberts expresses confidence that Sen. Joe Manchin will support the Democrats’ reconciliation bill because it contains critical funding to help West Virginia transition its economy. (Volts)