POLITICS: Utilities join other companies in suspending political contributions and condemning efforts to overturn the election results following last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (E&E News, subscription)

• The Trump administration finalizes a rule that would make it more difficult for banks to refuse to finance controversial oil and gas projects, with some Republicans comparing the practice to racial discrimination in housing. (E&E News)
• A new Interior Department rule would lower the royalties oil and gas companies are required to pay for drilling on public lands. (The Hill)

EQUITY: Legislation in Oregon, Illinois and other states could provide a template for environmental justice policy at the federal level. (Inside Climate News)

• A new survey finds a majority of voters say addressing climate change and advancing clean energy should be high priorities for the federal government. (New York Times)
• Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes a comprehensive climate roadmap bill, saying its efficiency requirements would have burdened the housing sector and that the bill lacked tools for localities to address environmental justice issues. (Masslive.com)
• Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reveals a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution with a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040, but critics say the roadmap is still not specific enough. (CBS Denver, Colorado Sun)
• Minnesota is falling further behind on its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets largely because of increased natural gas usage and transportation emissions. (Star Tribune)

• Toyota is set to pay a $180 million fine for longstanding Clean Air Act violations and failing to report defects that interfered with how cars control tailpipe emissions. (New York Times)
• A coalition of 20 advocacy groups press Virginia lawmakers to build on last year’s sweeping Clean Economy Act by directing automakers to deliver more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles. (Energy News Network)

Tesla’s dominance in the electric vehicle market is threatened as major automakers like Ford and Volkswagen unveil new models. (New York Times)
• BMW announces plans to double its sales of electric vehicles by 2021. (Reuters)

• Kentucky residents worry that bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel may abandon many of its unreclaimed surface mines, leaving a massive environmental mess for taxpayers and communities. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• A new report says the cost of reclaiming nearly half a million acres of mined land in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee may amount to $6 billion — more than twice than the $2.5 billion available in bonds for cleanup. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

STORAGE: Connecticut regulators propose a home battery storage program that would help the state reach its goal of 580 MW by 2030. (Energy News Network)

WIND: The developer of a New Jersey offshore wind farm tells recreational fishermen they are welcome to ply the waters in and among its turbines. (Asbury Park Press)

SOLAR: A Tennessee-based construction company announces it will build a 100 MW solar facility in Georgia. (Solar Power World)

COMMENTARY: The Los Angeles Times editorial board says climate change remains the defining crisis of our era, and we’re still not doing enough to address it.

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.