JOBS: Labor activists are pushing back on the Biden administration’s efforts to slow oil and gas development, noting there is still a wide pay disparity between jobs in fossil fuels and renewable energy. (Washington Post, Houston Chronicle)

ALSO: President Joe Biden’s climate change plans include a promise to focus on economic development in coal-producing communities, but central Appalachian communities remain skeptical after decades of struggles with poverty and depopulation. (New York Times)

EQUITY:
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasizes righting “intentional decisions” that harmed Black communities in upcoming infrastructure plans. (Politico)
Pittsburgh environmental justice advocates hope a new federal emphasis will lead to more effective action at the local and state level. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Opponents of the Byhalia Connection Pipeline point to its proposed route through poor, predominantly Black neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee, as evidence of environmental racism. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• A northern Minnesota shelter has received increased calls for service and reports of sexual assault and harassment involving workers on the Line 3 pipeline. (Minnesota Reformer)
• Tribal members in Michigan worry about similar violence toward women should construction move forward on the Line 5 pipeline tunnel. (Michigan Advance)

CLIMATE: While an oil industry group is considering supporting a carbon tax, the idea still has little political support from either party. (Inside Climate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Many auto dealers remain skeptical about how quickly customers will adopt electric vehicles, and experts say a shift to online sales will transform the business. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
Volkswagen accelerates its shift to electric vehicles, anticipating EVs will make up 70% of its European sales by 2030. (Reuters)
Advocates say phasing out gas-powered cars by 2035 is an attainable goal as electric vehicles gain wider acceptance with proper policies in place. (ecoRI)
• A Minnesota lawmaker proposes taxing electricity as a fuel at EV charging stations as a way to generate revenue for road projects. (St. Cloud Times)

GRID:
• More than 30 Texas power plants failed to heed the warnings of a 2011 cold snap and were shut down again in last month’s freeze, according to a news analysis. (Washington Post)
• Tesla is reportedly building a 100 MW energy storage project outside Houston. (Bloomberg Green)

SOLAR:
• Opposition to a 5 MW solar project by North Carolina’s utility customer advocate reveals the challenges with developing relatively small solar farms in the state. (Energy News Network)
Massachusetts legislators file bills to require solar panels on new residential and commercial buildings. (ecoRI)

NUCLEAR: Arkansas and Louisiana regulators say Entergy wrongfully charged customers more than $1 billion for a troubled Mississippi nuclear power station. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC LANDS: Four conservation groups file a lawsuit calling for a judge to void the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of a Nevada lithium mine, alleging that serious environmental impacts were ignored. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: A Pennsylvania county that rode a wave of prosperity from fees paid by the fracking industry over the past decade is nearly broke after failing to keep money in reserve. (PA Spotlight)

COMMENTARY:
• Companies are using net zero pledges as “indulgences” to emit carbon, the founder of a nuclear engineering company argues. (The Wall Street Journal)
• An editorial board calls Texas’ deregulated energy market “an expensive failure” after last month’s winter storm and blackouts. (Austin American-Statesman)

Ken Paulman

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.