SUPREME COURT: A leading prospect to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia has ties to fossil fuel industries, raising concern among some climate activists. (Politico) 

POLITICS: North Carolina conservative activist Jay Faison has launched a $5 million super PAC to back congressional Republicans who support clean energy. (Wall Street Journal)

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• A newly formed PAC challenges an effort to restore Nevada’s net metering rates. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Customer applications for solar connections with a Nevada utility fell 93 percent from December to January. (Vegas Inc)
• A Hawaii utility cancels contracts with SunEdison over delayed solar projects. (Bloomberg)
• A “rather conservative” suburb of Portland, Oregon wants to triple the number of solar installations on homes and businesses. (Oregonian)
Community solar is becoming a big business, where states enable it. (GreenBiz)

• Analysts say wind energy will continue to grow in the U.S. despite the Supreme Court’s delay of the Clean Power Plan. (Utility Dive)
• At 8.6 gigawatts, wind energy was the top source of new generation capacity in 2015, surpassing solar and natural gas. (Transmission & Distribution World)

• Federal regulators say corrosion is to blame for a major pipeline spill off the Santa Barbara coast last year. (Associated Press)
• Enbridge delays plans for new and expanded pipelines to bring oil from North Dakota and Alberta into Wisconsin. (Houston Chronicle)

• A California utility pleads not guilty to criminal charges stemming from a weekslong leak from a natural gas storage facility. (Associated Press)
• The Sierra Club sues three energy companies over earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. (Bloomberg)
• After climate activists disrupt an oil-and-gas lease auction in Utah, industry officials say they’ll push to hold the auctions online. (Associated Press)
Opponents pack a metro Detroit auditorium to speak out against a church’s plan to drill for oil on its property. (CBS Detroit)

• Wyoming officials acknowledge to federal regulators that the state’s “self bonding” program for coal mine cleanup is flawed. (Reuters)
• Washington state lawmakers advance a bill creating a “retirement account” for a local utility’s stake in Montana coal plants. (Associated Press)
• A report says global coal markets are now so weak that two proposed West Coast export terminals are no longer needed. (Seattle Times)
• The EPA flags pollution violations at coal plants in Texas, Illinois and elsewhere. (Dallas Morning News, Alton Telegraph)

NUCLEAR: Duke Energy says its nuclear plant in South Carolina produced electricity a record 98% of the time in 2015. (Charlotte Business Journal)

GRID: How demand-side management can eliminate the need for major infrastructure investments. (Greentech Media)

EFFICIENCY: Two North Carolina businessmen raise the bar for how commercial buildings can save energy. (Business North Carolina)

• A former General Motors executive says widespread adoption of electric vehicles will happen in the coming years as it becomes easier and cheaper to build them. (Forbes)
• A utility seeks permission from Washington state regulators to install 265 charging stations in the eastern part of the state. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

COMMENTARY: Why it’s hard for humans to care about climate change impacts hundreds of years in the future. (Vox)

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.

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