CLIMATE: Over 630 companies send a letter urging Donald Trump’s administration to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and increase investments in renewable energy, saying “failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.” (Huffington Post)

EMISSIONS: Colorado’s governor scraps the idea of using an executive order to cut in greenhouse gas emissions from state power plants by one-third after criticism from Republicans. (Associated Press)

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CAP-AND-TRADE: The governor of California announces a plan to solidify the state’s cap-and-trade program using a two-thirds vote in both houses of the state legislature. (Los Angeles Times)

REGULATION: Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva urges fellow Democrats to defend a coal mining rule and a regulation on methane leaks at oil and gas wells, saying repealing them would be “for the sole benefit of the oil, gas and coal industries.” (The Hill)

• A former coal lobbyist is running to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. (Huffington Post)
• Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions has received nearly $175,000 in contributions from Southern Co., an investor-owned utility that is directly affected by Obama-era environmental regulations. (Bloomberg)
• EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is cleared for confirmation by federal ethics officials. (Associated Press)
• Exxon CEO and secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson begins two planned days of confirmation hearings on Wednesday. (Washington Post)

• Renewable energy will account for the largest contribution to U.S. electricity capacity in 2016, according to a prediction from the Department of Energy. (FuelFix)
• With 71 of the Fortune 100 companies committing to renewable energy or sustainability targets, large corporations are becoming a powerful force for clean energy in the U.S. (Greentech Media)
• Iowa and Illinois make it the easiest for corporations to access renewable energy, according to a new report. (Midwest Energy News)

• A solar-plus-battery-storage project on the Hawaiian island of Kauai will feature a 28 MW solar farm and be one of the largest battery systems in the world. (Pacific Business News)
• The number of solar permits issued in Maui County, Hawaii, dropped 47 percent in 2016, representing “nothing short of a blood bath for local solar businesses.” (Pacific Business News)
• Solar installer Sunrun teams up with the utility National Grid to encourage the adoption of rooftop solar, starting with a $100-million investment in 200 MW of residential projects. (PV Magazine)

OIL & GAS: U.S. oil production increased in the last three months, ending a two-year bust, according to a report from the Department of Energy. (FuelFix)

PIPELINES: Weeks before the massive Colonial Pipeline incident, a cash-strapped Alabama agency announced plans to stop responding to spills, leaving it to local communities instead. (Anniston Star)

FRACKING: A study finds a net economic benefit for communities near fracking operations, even after accounting for crime and other negative impacts. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• An Arizona utility is considering closing a 2,250 MW coal-fired plant due to financial pressure. (Utility Dive)
• Six people are injured after an explosion at a coal-fired power station in Ohio. (Associated Press)
• West Virginia senator Joe Manchin says Donald Trump promised his support for a permanent fix on healthcare benefits for retired coal miners. (The Hill)
• Will West Virginia’s new governor be able to revive the state’s troubled coal industry? (Bloomberg)

***SPONSORED LINK: A Department of Energy webinar Thursday, Jan. 12 at 1 pm EST will discuss co-location of solar installations with agriculture. Register now. ***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The electric Chevy Bolt wins top honors at the North American International Auto Show. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Republican politicians want to support climate change legislation, but they are being controlled by the fossil fuel industry. (Washington Post)

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