NEW YORK: State regulators have approved demonstration projects that will allow New York’s six investor-owned utilities to act in a new role as distribution grid operators. (EnergyWire)

• Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf seeks more oversight on natural-gas drilling operations in an effort to curb methane emissions. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• The ongoing leak at a natural gas storage site in California presents an opportunity to find out ways to cut down on methane emissions industry-wide. (New Republic)

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• California will investigate whether Exxon Mobil lied to the public and shareholders about the risk of climate change to the company. (Los Angeles Times)
A coalition of investors representing nearly $300 billion in assets is urging Exxon Mobil to be more transparent on how resilient the company’s business model is to climate change. (Reuters)

TESLA: The company is falling short of job and investment projections for its Nevada Gigafactory that were used to persuade lawmakers to approve historic tax incentives. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

WIND: Critics say the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is pushing a bill in Kansas to defund a transmission authority as a back-door attempt to block wind energy expansion. (Midwest Energy News)

• At least 20 states are open to the idea of carbon trading with other states as a way to meet the federal rules. (ClimateWire)
Grid operator MISO eyes lower-cost compliance options. (Platts)

SOLAR: Rooftop solar owners who sell their renewable energy credits may not be adding as much renewable energy to the grid as they might think. (Mother Jones)

• Leaders at a worldwide forum on business and politics say sinking oil and gas prices is creating less of an incentive to reduce emissions through renewable fuels. (Associated Press)
The International Energy Agency says crude oil prices may fall even farther this year due to low demand, warm winter weather and an oversupply. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Low gas prices have led electric-vehicle sales to fall short of President Obama’s goals laid out in 2008. (Reuters)

• Republican in-fighting plays out in Iowa as Gov. Terry Branstad hopes Ted Cruz loses the Iowa caucuses based on position against ethanol mandates. (Radio Iowa)
Wealthy donors face an increasingly steep uphill battle trying to persuade GOP candidates to combat climate change. (Politico)

COAL: The federal government is objecting to a plan by Alpha Natural Resources to pay more than $11 million in executive bonuses as it reorganizes in bankruptcy court. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: President Obama vetoes Congress’ bid to repeal a law protecting small bodies of water at risk from coal mining and other operations. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: The federal government’s decision to pause and review practices for coal-mine leases on public land is “smart” and “overdue.” (Seattle Times)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.

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