EPA: The Supreme Court rejects a bid by 20 states to block EPA rules governing mercury and other toxic pollutants. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• The Supreme Court’s stay on the rules leaves an uncertain future for clean-energy investment. (Utility Dive)
• A potential nominee to fill the vacant seat has sided against the Obama Administration on past energy and environmental cases. (Greenwire)

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PIPELINES:
• New York advocates sue FERC, claiming fees collected from energy companies create a conflict of interest for the agency as it approves pipelines. (Albany Times Union)
• The U.S. Senate approves new pipeline safety legislation. (The Hill)

POLICY: Advocates say polling shows broad, bipartisan support for a proposed 25 percent renewable energy standard in Maryland. (Maryland Reporter)

SOLAR:
• A bill in Oregon, overshadowed by the state’s landmark climate legislation, provides new incentives for utility-scale solar. (Portland Business Journal)
• Opponents of a proposed amendment to the Florida’s Constitution backed by utilities call it a “sneaky maneuver” to defeat rooftop solar. (Florida Politics)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs new coal ash disposal restrictions into law as a company prepares to contest them in court. (The State / Greenville Online)

UTILITIES:
• An Arizona utility is planning for another 1.1 GW of new renewable capacity by 2030. (PV Tech)
• Observers see little chance of the Exelon-Pepco merger moving forward. (RTO Insider)
• Texas regulators consider whether to allow utilities to reclassify as “real estate investment trusts,” a scheme critics say will transfer millions of dollars from ratepayers to shareholders. (Houston Public Media)

NUCLEAR:
• The operator of a New York power plant says a three-day shutdown in December was apparently caused by a bird pooping on a power line. (Associated Press)
• Engineers urge federal regulators to address a design flaw they say puts emergency cooling systems at risk. (Reuters)
• Federal regulators say the operator of a Michigan nuclear power plant did not properly report a 2013 leak at the site. (MLive)

COAL: A West Virginia judge orders a coal company to provide clean water for 27 families whose wells have been contaminated by mining activity. (Beckley Register-Herald)

OIL AND GAS:
• The divide over whether to authorize drilling off the mid- and lower-Atlantic Coast grows sharper and louder.(The New York Times)
Oklahoma officials announce another $235 million in budget cuts amid the sharp drop in oil and gas prices. (Associated Press)

AUBREY McCLENDON:
• The late oil and gas CEO faced increasing pressure from federal bid-rigging charges and the plunge in commodity prices, but he still made deals until the end. (New York Times)
Federal authorities seek to drop the indictment following McClendon’s death in a one-car crash. Meanwhile, an Oklahoma landowner filed a class-action lawsuit against McClendon’s former company. (Associated Press)
McClendon’s indictment may signal further crackdowns on the industry. (Houston Business Journal)

TRANSMISSION: A Texas utility seeks a $77 million transmission expansion to accommodate more wind power. (Amarillo Globe-News)

COMMENTARY:
• A proposal to drop net metering in Maine is a “recipe for disaster.” (CleanTechnica)
• How Warren Buffett’s utilities pose a unique threat to solar. (Bloomberg)
• New York’s REV process shows utilities and regulators how to manage change. (Utility Dive)
• How can we drop coal without sending miners to the unemployment line? (Los Angeles Times)

Ken Paulman

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.

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