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With Election Day less than two weeks away (Nov. 8, don’t miss it!), congressional and gubernatorial races are reasonably getting a lot of attention. After all, those races will have a lot of power over how Inflation Reduction Act funds are doled out, as well as determine even more climate action.

But across the U.S., down-ballot races are heating up for regulatory and judicial positions that will have huge consequences for climate change and clean energy deployment.

A roll of "I voted" stickers.

Here are just a few:

  • A Texas Democrat is challenging a Republican incumbent to lead the state’s Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry. A power grid failure during a cold snap last year has become a major campaign issue as the Democrat contends the commission needs to enforce oil and gas weatherization rules.
  • Two Democrats are challenging Republican incumbents for spots on Ohio’s Supreme Court, which will determine who can block renewable energy installations and face major questions about the state’s HB 6 corruption scandal.
  • A Republican looks to unseat Michigan’s Democratic attorney general, with plans to quickly dismiss a legal fight against Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 pipeline.

Also happening: Races for state treasurer that will guide clean energy investments, pivotal state legislature contests, and fights for regulatory posts that oversee utilities. Get a breakdown of all of it from Rebecca Leber in Vox.


More clean energy news

🏭 Fossil fuel shutdowns backfire: Environmental advocates fear that a push for oil and gas companies to reduce their carbon emissions has led to the sale of their fossil fuel assets to other companies and investors that won’t shut them down. (Inside Climate News)

🔥 Natural gas tied to maternity issues: A peer-reviewed study finds increases in natural gas production correlate with decreases in average birth weight, a phenomenon that disproportionately affects women of color. (Environmental Health News)

🔋 EV batteries get a federal boost: The Biden administration awards $2.8 billion to twelve states to boost production of electric vehicle batteries, with GOP-leaning states receiving most of those grants despite Republican leaders denying climate change and decrying the spending as wasteful. (New York Times, Associated Press)

🌎 The climate reparations conversation: The U.S. agrees to support United Nations discussions of reparations for developing countries that have produced few fossil fuel emissions but face an outsized number of their climate effects. (Bloomberg)

🍅 Solar gets saucy: Researchers find that growing tomato plants below and between solar panels can increase crop yields, especially in hot and dry areas such as California’s Central Valley. (Energy News Network)

⚡ Transformers holding back grid upgrades: Only eight U.S. companies manufacture the massive transformers the country needs to improve and expand electric distribution, and deliveries have fallen behind due to pandemic and supply challenges. (E&E News)

🌪️ Extreme weather vs. developers: Clean energy developers are fighting a Federal Emergency Management Association proposal to toughen construction standards for wind and solar projects to improve reliability in extreme weather, saying the new rules will kill projects. (Utility Dive)


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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn brings her extensive editorial background to the Energy News Network team, where she oversees the early-morning production of ENN’s five email digest newsletters as well as distribution of ENN’s original journalism with other media outlets. From documenting chronic illness’ effect on college students to following the inner workings of Congress, Kathryn has built a broad experience in her more than five years working at major publications including The Week Magazine. Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism and information management and technology from Syracuse University.