EFFICIENCY: The Department of Energy and a House energy committee are objecting to a push by the building industry to limit involvement of state and local officials in energy code updates. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Officials in Providence, Rhode Island, are pushing for a mandatory energy benchmarking ordinance as participation in a voluntary program has been limited so far. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• GM’s plan to phase out gasoline vehicles presages sweeping changes for the petroleum and utility industries. (E&E News)
• Experts identify four key advancements that will be necessary for widespread adoption of electric vehicles. (New York Times)
• A new Massachusetts law directs utilities to find ways to prevent bill spikes from electric vehicle fast-chargers, which can trigger high demand charges. (Energy News Network)
• South Dakota lawmakers advance a bill that would charge electric vehicle drivers a $50 annual fee that would go to the state’s road maintenance fund. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

OIL & GAS:
Oil executives push back on plans to restrict drilling on public lands by arguing domestic shale has a lower climate impact than imported oil. (Bloomberg)
After a Colorado farmer’s house is demolished to clean up an underground natural gas leak, the industry is under pressure to assess the risk of the state’s “subterranean toxic spaghetti” of pipelines. (Denver Post)

PIPELINES:
A Michigan agency approves permits for Enbridge to build a pipeline tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, concluding that the project would comply with the state’s environmental laws. (Bridge Michigan)
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline faces permitting and regulatory headwinds with a shift in presidential administrations, raising the question of whether it can be completed. (Associated Press)
The Biden administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline opens a rift between labor and environmental constituencies. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• The sweeping energy law passed by Virginia lawmakers in 2020 locked in demand for clean power, sparking tension in rural communities that are now seeing thousands of acres developed for solar arrays. (Virginia Mercury)
Wyoming’s state senate passes a controversial bill aiming to reform the state’s net metering system in its first vote, a move which critics say would “disincentivize” residential solar installations. (Casper Star-Tribune)

WIND: Developers of a technology being tested at Wyoming wind farms say it has reduced eagle deaths by 82%. (Recharge)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy says it’s on track to reduce carbon emissions 80% over the next decade, though company officials are skeptical about the Biden administration’s 100% carbon-free power target by 2035. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia carries a bill to funnel $4 billion in tax credits to manufacturers in coal-producing communities that have lost jobs as the country transitions to cleaner energy. (Times West Virginian)
• An exploration of the West’s coal economy over the past 50 years and the transition to renewables finds that the closure of the Navajo Generating Station in 2019 marks a “Big Breakdown” of coal as a power-generating fuel. (High Country News)

CLIMATE: Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wants an investigation of the Trump administration for possible “climate corruption”  for its ties and policies related to the fossil fuel industry. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Polls show that President Biden’s actions on climate change and other issues, dubbed “divisive” by opponents, have broad public support. (Washington Post)
• A rough calculation finds that electrifying the U.S. vehicle fleet would reduce overall energy consumption by about 13%. (Bloomberg)

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.