BUILDINGS: Recently released industry data shows that heat pumps outsold natural gas furnaces in 2022, driven in part by incentive programs in states like Maine, Massachusetts and California. (Canary Media)
ALSO: Rhode Island’s top utility regulator says a ban on new natural gas hookups may be necessary to meet the state’s climate goals: “If not tomorrow, then when?” (Energy News Network)
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• The Inflation Reduction Act relies on city governments to implement some provisions, but many cities lack the staff to do so. (E&E News)
• Polling shows most Americans don’t know about the ambitious new federal climate law; meanwhile, a nonprofit aiming to rally voters around climate issues expands its work into Louisiana and Nebraska. (Politico, NBC News)
• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is reportedly angry that the IRA is being presented as a climate bill despite oil and gas measures he helped secure, and has introduced legislation to slow electric vehicle incentives until domestic supply chains can be developed. (Politico)
• Republican senators introduce a resolution to overturn EPA emissions rules for heavy trucks, a measure that is unlikely to succeed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. (The Hill)
• Research from California suggests that even a low level of electric vehicle adoption has a significant impact on respiratory health. (Vox)
• The Energy Department announces a $2 billion loan guarantee for an electric vehicle battery recycling operation in Nevada, as state leaders envision a “lithium loop” economic boom. (E&E News)
• Clean energy developers are becoming more efficient in their use of metals like copper and aluminum, though the overall volume of materials needed will increase in the coming decades. (Bloomberg NEF)
• Minnesota utilities pursue iron-air battery storage systems that rely on abundant materials and can store power for long durations. (MPR News)
SOLAR: Arkansas lawmakers introduce legislation to roll back the state’s net-metering program, which a coalition of advocates and businesses says would threaten the state’s recent solar boom. (Arkansas Advocate)
OIL & GAS:
• An announcement that ten abandoned oil and gas wells in the Pittsburgh area had been plugged with federal funds highlights the enormity of the challenge of addressing tens of thousands of orphan wells around the country. (Bloomberg Law)
• New Mexico lawmakers introduce a bill that would create a state agency dedicated to transitioning the state’s economy away from dependence on oil and gas jobs and revenue. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Fresh Energy seeks an executive director
Fresh Energy, a Minnesota-based clean energy and climate policy nonprofit with regional impact and national influence, is seeking a charismatic and inspirational leader to serve as its next Executive Director.
PIPELINES: The Keystone pipeline’s operator says faulty welding caused a major spill in Kansas late last year and estimates that cleanup costs will exceed $475 million. (Nebraska Public Media)
COMMENTARY: An editorial board says Minnesota’s new 100% carbon-free electricity law “stands as one of the most consequential efforts ever to preserve and protect Minnesota’s pristine air, lakes and woods.” (Star Tribune)