GRID: Adding transmission connections between electric grids in the eastern and western U.S. would lower clean energy costs and help balance the grid even with less overall generation capacity, a recent federal study finds. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
A Western regional transmission organization could save customers $2 billion per year while bolstering reliability and expediting renewable energy development, according to a federally funded study. (news release)
• Maine environmental regulators contemplate canceling a permit for a Central Maine Power transmission project after a court ruling jeopardizes a small piece of the line’s route. (Maine Public)
• Three Tennessee power companies that considered splitting from the Tennessee Valley Authority claim the utility is improperly restricting necessary upgrades to its transmission lines. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

POLITICS:
• Democratic U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester both voice opposition to a carbon tax after it’s revived in congressional talks, though the White House says the fees are still in consideration. (The Hill, Reuters)
• A California congress member suggests carving out a clean electricity program exception for West Virginia to get Sen. Joe Manchin onboard Democrats’ reconciliation bill. (E&E News)

CLIMATE:
• Police departments are increasingly citing extreme, climate change-fueled weather events when requesting military-style gear and armored vehicles from the federal government. (HuffPost)
• The Biden administration and congressional allies insist the U.S. can still meet its Paris agreement goals even without the clean electricity program through other executive and legislative action. (Washington Post)
• The country’s top financial regulators will release a report this week detailing their first steps toward tackling climate change. (E&E News)

WIND:
• While most conservation groups support a balance of protecting birds and building wind power, one avian-backing nonprofit is challenging turbine development at every turn. (Grist)
Indigenous and environmental advocates urge President Biden to designate a national monument on southern Nevada land where a Swedish developer is pursuing a large-scale wind power installation. (E&E News)
• A central Iowa wind turbine blade manufacturer plans to close by the end of the year and eliminate 710 jobs; U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley will urge President Biden to consider having the plant manufacture components for offshore wind projects to keep the facility afloat. (Des Moines Register, Radio Iowa)

LITHIUM: A federal court’s rejection of an effort to block lithium mining at Nevada’s Thacker Pass highlights the legal obstacles Indigenous advocates face in protecting sacred sites. (Guardian)

CLEAN ENERGY: Indiana clean energy advocates say a state energy task force’s recent interest in small nuclear reactors distracts from more prudent solutions such as renewables and demand response. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: U.S. cities and states ask the federal government to rescind Trump-era rules that curbed efficiency measures. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• The country’s broken supply chain is hindering the clean energy transition, especially when it comes to solar development, a consultant and former Michigan utility regulator writes. (Utility Dive)
• Electrification advocate Saul Griffith argues the tall challenge of replacing fossil-fueled appliances, cars and heating systems is worth the economic and climate benefits. (Yale Environment 360)