SOLAR: A new report predicts solar prices will continue to fall, making it the lowest-cost resource in all 50 states by 2030. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
Scientists debunk misinformation being circulated by opponents of a Pennsylvania solar project. (Allegheny Front)
• An Indiana elementary school is the latest in the state to use solar panels and energy efficiency to virtually eliminate its electricity bills. (South Bend Tribune)
Solar energy development surges across Arkansas as independent contractors and utilities both turn toward renewables. (Arkansas Business)

ELECTRIFICATION: Indiana is expected to vote this week on a bill that would block local governments from prohibiting natural gas hookups for home heating in new construction, part of a growing number of state legislatures taking up the issue. (Energy News Network) 

OIL & GAS:
The Ute Indian Tribe, which depends on oil and gas revenue, asks the Interior Department for an exemption to a Biden administration order halting leasing on public lands. (Reuters)
• After years of opposing climate policies, the American Petroleum Institute seeks to cooperate with the Biden administration on emissions regulation. (Houston Chronicle)
New oil and gas exploration licences for five major producers dropped in 2020 to the lowest in at least five years due to lower energy prices driven by the pandemic, according to new data. (Reuters)
Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg says the Biden administration may consider rescinding a rule allowing liquified natural gas to be transported by rail. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES: A survey commissioned by the Mountain Valley Pipeline finds that more than half of Virginians support its construction, although the number has declined since construction began in 2018. (Roanoke Times)

BIOFUELS: A federal appeals court orders the U.S. EPA to hold off on awarding three biofuel waivers issued to refineries in the final hours of the Trump administration until the court can review them. (Biofuels Digest)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Vermont utility plans to expand a program to promote car dealerships that keep electric vehicles in stock and help customers obtain rebates. (Energy News Network)
• A new California report outlines the challenges of phasing out gasoline car sales by 2035. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE:
New Jersey meets its goal of reducing power plant emissions 20% by 2020 but still has “an incredible hill to climb” to reach its 2050 target. (NJ Spotlight)
• Major oil companies and power producers are among companies that support Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 

COAL:
• Communities in the Ohio Valley pin their hopes on the Biden administration to invest in infrastructure in a region seeking to transition from coal. (WKYU)
• In West Virginia, environmental advocates cheer the Biden administration’s elevation of a federal regulator and call for investment in communities transitioning from coal, while Republican elected officials criticize its early moves. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

POLITICS: In a new book, climate scientist Michael Mann says opponents of climate action are shifting tactics from questioning science to insisting that it’s too late to do anything now. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• A shift in public opinion about climate change is reason for optimism, writes a Louisiana journalist. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• A farmer and retired district conservationist wrestles with whether farmland should be used for solar development. (Virginia Mercury)
• An editorial board calls on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to appoint a state utility regulator who does not have financial ties to the industry. (Columbus Dispatch)

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.