CABINET: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who has said creating jobs and embracing clean energy are top priorities, is confirmed as the Biden administration’s Energy secretary. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Campaign finance records show outspoken opponents of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination to lead the Interior department have received millions of dollars in contributions from fossil fuel industries, with some holding personal investments in oil companies. (The Guardian)

***SPONSORED LINK: “Achieve Your Renewable Goals With Geothermal” will be held virtually on March 3, and explore innovative ways for governments, industry, schools, utilities, and homeowners to use geothermal heat pumps to meet their renewable energy goals. There is no cost to attend. Register today.***

TEXAS:
Hearings in both chambers of the Texas state legislature spotlight failures by grid planners, electric utilities, natural gas suppliers, renewable energy and transmission operators in last week’s power outages. (Reuters)
• In the days before the storm, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott followed the advice of Fox News host Sean Hannity and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in consulting with a meteorologist known for skepticism of climate change. (E&E News, subscription)
• The failure of the Texas power grid during a cold snap could end its status as a standalone entity and lead to connections with regional grids, says an expert on energy market structures. (Scientific American)

OIL & GAS:
• Amid legal challenges to a 2010 fracking moratorium, the Delaware River Basin Commission votes to make the ban permanent, making a large portion of the Marcellus Shale off-limits to drilling. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
• As Colorado takes steps to support coal workers as the industry declines, union leaders and lawmakers want to make sure oil and gas workers aren’t left behind. (Colorado Public Radio)

EQUITY:
• Lithium mining to provide batteries for electric vehicles could be an economic windfall for California’s Imperial Valley, but advocates warn of the effects on the region’s Latino population, which is already disproportionately impacted by pollution. (CalMatters)
• A Maryland bill would ban new power plants from being built in a majority-Black county outside Washington D.C. that is already home to a large number of industrial sites. (Maryland Matters)

UTILITIES: Critics raise concerns about investor Carl Icahn’s plan to acquire a significant stake in FirstEnergy and what it would mean for the company’s clean energy and grid investments. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY: The latest version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act in Illinois would follow more than a dozen states by creating a green bank to help finance clean energy investments. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR: Kansas regulators reject Evergy’s attempt to impose new fees on solar customers, saying issues involving potential cross-subsidization should be addressed in a later rate case. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Lobbying groups representing home builders and gas utilities are fighting to limit cities’ say in approving model building energy codes. (HuffPost)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The federal tax credit for electric vehicles has overwhelmingly helped richer Americans, with most recipients earning at least $100,000 a year. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• Black Americans have disproportionately suffered from pollution, and it’s time for a new approach to environmental regulation that merges with civil rights, a journalist writes. (Vox)
• The Texas crisis helps make the case for better connecting the country’s regional electric grids, which could boost resilience and renewables, a science journalist writes. (Mother Jones)
• High efficiency electric technologies such as heat pump space and water heaters should be a part of the solution in Texas, advocates write. (NRDC)
• As significant users of North Carolina’s power supply, cities, towns and counties play a key role in the state’s clean-energy transition, writes a sustainability expert. (Energy News Network)

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.