ELECTRIC CARS: A state auditor’s report says California’s pollution agency doesn’t have enough data to support claimed emissions reductions from its electric vehicle rebate program. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO: Electric car startup Lucid Motors raises $4 billion in a merger that will support expansion of its Arizona factory. (CNN Business)

PUBLIC LANDS:
Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland addresses criticism from Senate Republicans about drilling restrictions on public lands in her second day of confirmation hearings. (Washington Post)
Former Democratic senators Tom and Mark Udall say characterizations of Haaland as a “radical” are “motivated by something other than her record.” (The Hill)
Alaska Rep. Don Young urges fellow Republicans to support Haaland’s confirmation: “She will listen to you.” (Anchorage Daily News)
Native American leaders around the country praise Haaland’s historic nomination, which they say could open opportunities for greater representation. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
California regulators say more than $1 billion in utility bills remain unpaid, with one commissioner calling the situation “extraordinarily frightening.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Xcel Energy is expected to release an updated resource plan today outlining its plans for further emissions reductions in Colorado. (Colorado Sun)
California startup Griddy, which links customer utility bills to wholesale energy prices, is under fire after customers in Texas were left with thousands of dollars in bills amid last week’s grid crisis. (Houston Chronicle)

NUCLEAR: A new analysis says California isn’t moving fast enough to develop clean energy sources to replace the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, and the plant’s shutdown could lead to an increase in emissions. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

COAL:
Montana lawmakers debate a bill to allow the state’s attorney general to mandate repairs to the Colstrip power plant, which they accuse the plant’s owners of intentionally deferring. (Billings Gazette)
Wyoming will lose out on tens of millions of dollars in royalties as the result of a recent bankruptcy settlement with Blackjewel. (Wyoming Business Report)
A federal court approves a labor agreement for workers hired to clean up the former Decker coal mine in Montana. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is leading a group of 17 Republicans calling for President Biden to repeal his order pausing new oil and gas leases on public lands. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A California company’s plan to export natural gas through a Mexican port is one of many similar projects seeking approval from the Biden administration. (Los Angeles Times)
Wyoming advocates continue to push for a state investigation after videos made with special equipment reveal pollution leaks from oil and gas facilities. (Wyoming Tribune-Eagle)

EFFICIENCY: In Juneau, Alaska, where most electricity is already sourced from renewables, clean-energy efforts are focused on reducing demand. (Peninsula Clarion)

CLIMATE: Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he is “very open to a carbon tax” to help citizens offset energy costs. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: An editorial board says Republican criticisms of Rep. Deb Haaland are “clearly a hit job by the fossil fuel industry,” while a columnist says “I wouldn’t have been surprised to see these same Republicans bathe themselves in oil … to demonstrate the full extent of their passion.” (Las Vegas Sun, The Independent)

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.