POLITICS: Democrats appear likely to regain control of the U.S. Senate following Georgia’s runoff election, with “potentially momentous” implications for climate and energy policy. (New York Times, Science)

ALSO: The Republican incumbent for a seat on the Georgia’s utility commission had a 69,000 vote lead over his Democratic challenger with more than 99% of vote counted. Official results here. (Atlanta Journal Constitution) 

The Trump administration weakens protections for migratory birds, a change that has long been sought by the oil and gas industry to avoid penalties for spills and other impacts. (New York Times)
An oil and gas lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will proceed today after a judge rejected a challenge from conservation and Indigenous groups. (Associated Press)
An oil company that hired a former Interior Department official who had helped push to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling will not be bidding in today’s sale. (Politico)

• State Rep. Bill Seitz played a key role in the state’s power plant subsidy law that aimed to gut clean energy standards and he has maintained opposition to repealing it in the wake of the HB 6 bribery scandal. (Eye on Ohio / Energy News Network)
• State regulators late last month ordered a new audit of FirstEnergy to determine whether the utility improperly funneled ratepayer money into an effort to pass HB 6. (Eye on Ohio / Energy News Network)

NUCLEAR: The company decommissioning the closed Oyster Creek nuclear plant in New Jersey says it is interested in developing a new next-generation nuclear power plant at the site. (Associated Press)

• A recent bankruptcy court ruling could spell the end of a proposed coal export terminal in Washington state. (Wyoming Public Media)
• Colorado’s effort to help communities transition from coal is challenged by accelerated plant closures, and officials say support from the federal government will be needed. (Colorado Sun)

• Florida regulators approve Duke Energy’s plan to finance 750 MW of new solar power largely through customers who will pre-pay for clean energy and receive credits later. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Republican legislators in New Hampshire propose a limited expansion of net metering that would exclude residential customers and businesses, and may overcome the objections of Gov. Chris Sununu. (Concord Monitor)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: EV startup Rivian is close to raising a new round of funding from investors that would value the company at about $25 billion. (Bloomberg)

STORAGE: The Vermont State House is the first in the nation with a clean power backup system with battery storage that replaces a diesel fuel system. (Vermont Biz)

• Observers weigh the effects that this week’s runoff election in Georgia for two pivotal U.S. Senate seats may have on the oil and gas industry. (KTRK)
A granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, who originally set aside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, says he would have starkly disapproved of the Trump administration’s effort to open the area to drilling. (New York Times)
• Clean energy advocates say states and cities “will continue to be vital” in passing climate change policies. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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.