SOLAR: Pandemic work restrictions and efficiency improvements caused U.S. solar jobs to drop 7% last year amid a record year for projects, an industry report finds, concluding the industry’s workforce must quadruple to meet President Biden’s clean energy goals. (Reuters, U.S. News)

ALSO:
• The Department of Energy announces a $15.5 million plan to tackle barriers to solar development in underserved areas, including providing technical assistance for deployment. (Utility Dive)
• The new CEO of rooftop solar installer SunPower, a former Amazon executive, wants to make “getting solar as simple as buying a book on Amazon.” (Bloomberg)
• A Virginia petroleum distributor buys a solar development business and adds rooftop panels to its chain of convenience stores and gas stations. (Energy News Network)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Two Democratic representatives introduce a bill that would map out and build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. (The Hill)
• Republicans and Democrats spar over the viability of electric vehicle growth during a House hearing, with GOP members noting a shortage of minerals needed to make batteries. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• Natural gas suppliers, pipeline companies, and commodity traders reaped billions in profits during February’s winter storms and outages, according to emerging quarterly reports, though some may never collect on sales due to litigation. (Reuters)
• Five congressmembers from Florida urge the Interior Department to deny oil drilling permits in Big Cypress National Preserve. (Naples Daily News)

WIND:
One of the world’s biggest wind turbine producers announces a price hike amid the rising cost of steel. (Bloomberg)
With multiple states vying to become the East Coast hub for offshore wind development, Massachusetts is losing its head start after making early investments in the industry. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES:
• The Biden administration’s decision allowing oil to continue to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline threatens to strain relationships with Indigenous tribes. (E&E News, subscription)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission clarifies an order that blocked natural gas pipeline construction from beginning before objections to the projects are addressed. (S&P Global Platts)

NUCLEAR: Exelon’s CEO says Illinois lawmakers need to act quickly on subsidies for its two nuclear plants and that President Biden’s plan to support U.S. nuclear plants would be too late. (RTO Insider, subscription)

COAL:
• Soot from natural gas-fired power plants, wood stoves and wood pellet boilers accounted for more deaths than coal from 2008 to 2017 amid the retirement of coal plants, a Harvard University study finds. (E&E News)
• Coal production in northern Appalachia jumps 15% from last quarter and 12% from a year ago, but still is down 4.7% against the five-year average. (S&P Global)

GRID:
• Environmental groups file a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of a 102-mile transmission line connecting Wisconsin and Iowa. (Reuters)
California utilities are optimistic the state won’t face capacity shortfalls this summer like the ones that led to rolling blackouts last August. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• With less than a month remaining in Texas’ legislative session, experts worry lawmakers haven’t done enough to reform and shore up grid problems that were exposed in February’s storm and resulting outages. (Spectrum News)

RENEWABLES: Environmental activists say a consultant’s presentation to a Michigan climate advisory council dismissed a 100% renewable target and suggested a path that would rely too heavily on carbon capture. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY:
President Biden’s climate pledges can bring about a “generational job creation opportunity” in clean energy, a columnist writes. (RealClearEnergy)
Leaders of a nonprofit that supports sustainable investing say utilities can’t claim to support climate action while fighting electrification efforts. (Canary Media)