OIL & GAS: A federal judge temporarily blocks the Biden administration’s oil and gas drilling leasing pause and suggests 13 states suing over the moratorium are correct that the president exceeded his powers. (New York Times)

ALSO:
Oil companies’ interest in Royal Dutch Shell’s Permian Basin holdings could be a litmus test of whether the industry is willing to bet on shale’s profitability through the energy transition. (Reuters)
A Transportation Security Administration official says the agency is developing another cybersecurity regulation for pipeline companies in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack. (The Hill)

RENEWABLES: The U.S.’s renewable energy consumption grew for the fifth year in a row in 2020 as fossil fuel and nuclear consumption declined, government data shows. (Energy Information Administration)

POLITICS:
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer plans to start the budget reconciliation process today in an attempt to pass President Biden’s infrastructure plan without Republican support. (Axios)
Schumer’s move comes after some Democratic senators say they won’t vote for an infrastructure bill without major climate provisions, though it’s unclear if moderate Democrats will support the reconciliation. (Reuters)
The U.S. and the EU pledge to work together to promote green technology development and climate change-fighting policies. (The Hill)

COAL:
• After months of private negotiations, a North Carolina Republican lawmaker unveils a sweeping energy bill ahead of a hearing Thursday that would retire five Duke Energy coal plants but also require new gas-fired generation, drawing quick criticism from clean energy groups. (Energy News Network)
• Witnesses tell a U.S. House subcommittee federal regulators need to do more to hold coal companies accountable for abandoned mines in Appalachia. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Another witness says the Navajo Nation faced environmental degradation from mines and a power plant on their land, but also bore massive job losses when the sites closed. (Arizona Mirror)

CLIMATE:
Climate envoy John Kerry says the world needs to “close the gap on finance” that keeps poorer nations stuck on fossil fuels, pledging the U.S. will give more money to this mission. (Bloomberg)
A bill permitting Maine utility regulators to weigh long-term climate goals in their decisions heads to the governor, although it no longer includes earlier provisions to allow consideration of equity and environmental justice. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ohio electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors says production is still on track to start this fall despite a management shakeup this week and warnings that the company may not be in business within a year. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says her department is taking a first step toward building a uranium reserve and will start identifying communities willing to take nuclear waste. (The Hill; E&E News, subscription)

HYDROPOWER: California’s hydropower generation is already 40% lower than last year due to drought, and one of its major hydroelectric stations could shut down by August due to low water levels. (Bloomberg, Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
A climate writer discusses how the U.S. lost its early edge in the solar industry, and how the research and development Congress wants to fund may not help the country recover. (The Atlantic)
 Shareholder rebellions and court rulings may have hurt fossil fuels, but investors abandoning the industry will be a bigger driver of change, a climate finance academic writes. (The Conversation)